This blog begins with me talking about “moles”; the kind on your face. I was raised calling them “beauty marks”. This tiny difference; changing the name of something; is hugely powerful. The text talks about the way we refer to Scarlet’s hearing impairment as a “superpower,” rather than a “disability.” And, by the end of the blog I am sharing a trip Scarlet, her mother, and I made to upstate New York to speak to a school who has turned reading into an “adventure.”
When cousins came over to visit this summer, Scarlet was proud to explain her superpower. It was encouraging to witness her share the fact that she needs to wear her cochlear implant processors in order to hear. She was positive and courageous.
This is the very first blog, after having published “Scarlet’s Superpower”. It explains a little about why the book was written in the first place: Scarlet’s equipment sets her apart from other kids. Also, needing to deal with this equipment can be frustrating.
Scarlet wanted to know how to be bossy in a classy way. Is there a classy way to criticize someone?
Scarlet had been doing what every kid does; beg mommy and daddy for stuff. I had begun teaching her that it wasn’t polite to keep asking for things. Then out of the blue, she asks me, “Dad, is begging classy?” I was taken aback. Where had she heard the word begging? Did I want her to associate people who beg for food or money with the concept of “unclassy”? How was I to handle this discussion and the building of her understanding of these tough societal situations? I did a lot of research and thinking for this one.
This was the start of our “Classy Talks”. It was time to tackle some behaviors that were a little less than classy. “We will make this the year of class,” I thought out loud to my daughter as I drove her to her before-school-care facility. “I have a theme in my classroom that I’d like to share with you. All year we will talk about what it means to be classy. That is the word for the year.” She brings it up all of the time, if I haven’t mentioned it for a while or if something happens, and she wants my classy advice.
This “Classy Talk” traveled from truck to classroom, when I used it to teach my students how to communicate grievances. Don’t groan when your assigned homework. In a classy way, raise your hand and explain why homework is less than appealing this evening.
This was a blog that I wrote concerning my class and what I share with my students, but it is something that I will be sharing, and sharing regularly, with my daughter.
While I frown on lookism, in general, it would be foolish to pay no regard to how you may appear to others. In fact, one who is careless in appearance conveys a universally careless attitude that is not classy.
This is an older blog, but one of the staples of class that can’t be repeated too often. Status quo or just barely getting the job done is not nearly as classy as going above and beyond to “wow” others. Not so much extra work as extra good work is the aim, here. This blog is applicable on many levels, but it was originally intended to communicate Standards-Based Assessment. While a 3 communicates proficiency which is satisfactory, a 4… Now that is impressive. It demonstrates that the student “exceeds expectations”. How does one do that? Read on.