How do you show your students that they matter? In today’s world it can be easy for students to get lost and forgotten in all of the chaos that is life; from out of school activities, to holding a job, to fit time in for family, friends, and homework. Life can be a challenge, even for most adults.
My first classroom will always be ingrained in my memory. Why? Because I was afraid of it. No, it didn’t have cobwebs, monsters, or anything of that sort. I was afraid of it because at the time I had no idea what to do with it.
My desk sat across the room from a HUMONGOUS blank artificial wall that I shared with another teacher. For the first week or so I would often find myself staring at it, unsure of what to do. It wasn’t until I assigned my first project that I figured out what I would do with this blank space. That was when The Fridge was born.
The Fridge has been a staple in my classroom for all 5 years of my teaching career. It has changed a few times, but the concept and love that go into it still remains the same.
After my students had completed their first projects the teacher guilt began to sink in. What was I going to do with their art work from their mythological star constellations? I hung them on the fridge.
For the first two years of my career, I’ll be honest, The Fridge was a hot mess, but my students loved it. I would see my 8th graders look in awe at the projects they too might be doing in 5 years, and it was fun to watch my seniors look at the 8th grade art and reminisce about stories they had read.
During it’s third and fourth year of life, The Fridge was a place that acknowledged less art work and more accomplishments outside of the classroom. I had switched schools and paper projects were a thing of the past. I hung up the newspaper articles and theatre programs, and anything else that seemed fitting, up on The Fridge for my 9th and 12th graders to look at. It was fun watching them congratulate one another on a new school record, or receiving an award at their recital performance.
At my current school I find that yet again The Fridge has changed slightly. Instead of paper projects or newspaper clippings and programs I acknowledge my students art work. I currently teach 7th grade English and I find that the group of students I find myself teaching are more aristic than those I’ve had before.
No matter what concept The Fridge grasps onto the result always seems to be the same. Students enjoy being acknowledged, not only by myself but their peers as well.
As I enter my 6th year of teaching I laugh at my first year teacher self because at the time I was just looking to fill space, but now I’ve filled the hearts of my students by showing them and others that I care.
If you’d like to download my freebie of The Fridge click here.
Thanks for reading my blog, and rememeber, be you, be confident, be amazing.