Like most teachers, I am fired up to get back in my classroom. I keep seeing stories about going back to school (Funny back to school pep talks , Simple tips for a great start) and it makes me think about when I was a fearless teacher willing to try anything to engage my students in meaningful learning.
"Can you donate some expired chickens or turkeys for a classroom project?"
Turkeys were not an option with Thanksgiving coming up so a dozen expired chickens from the freezer were loaded into my car and we had enough so that each group of four students had a bird on the mummification table. Over the course of 7-8 weeks, we took time to oil, spice and wrap the birds. They hung from the ceiling of our classroom in between our rituals. (We adapted a process similar to this link) At the end of "our process" we buried them outside with caskets made in our high school wood shop. Inevitably, I run into some of my former students from those early years of my career and their memories are always the best among my former students. (Rumor is that a few kids tried to find the chicken mummies on the school grounds on the eve of their ten year class reunion)
- Formulate good questions
- Communicate in groups and lead by influence
- Be agile and adaptable
- Take initiative and be entrepreneurial
- Develop effective written and oral communication skills
- Access and analyze information
- Be creative and imaginative
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nick Gregory has been a social studies and journalism teacher at Fenton High School since 2000 and he has been a National Writing Project Teacher consultant and a junior varsity basketball coach since 2003. He has exhibited photography related to Detroit and social justice causes since 2011 and he loves to travel. Gregory, who has a Masters degree in Educational Leadership, believes that building positive relationships helps students find their passion for learning.