I’m so excited to have another guest blogger join in at Lessons From The Middle! I asked Catherine, today’s guest blogger, to tell me a bit about herself. She runs a nonprofit called Deep, which offers free after-school creative writing workshops to 400 public school students every year. She’s been teaching writing to middle school students for four years with Deep, and she also blogs about it at That Writing Lady. She also studied English at Yale, and finally, she told me that she does a great giraffe impersonation. Catherine obviously has a great sense of humor as well! Thanks again Catherine for insightful blog post.
HOW TO CHANGE A STUDENT’S LIFE WITH ONE QUICK EMAIL
We all know that students love to be recognized and rewarded for their hard work. We teachers do this every day through good grades, pats on the back, and gold stars. But what if I told you there was a way to recognize your students that would not only thrill them, but also give them a lasting source of pride that they and their families will remember for the rest of their lives (and impress the pants off your principal in the process)?
Well, here it is:
Get your kids on TV.
Think about it: have you ever been on TV? If you have (and you aren’t a celebrity), then you know that you will remember those fifteen minutes of fame for the rest of your life. Imagine how much more of an impression it makes on children. (I still have a vivid recollection of being on a local children’s show when I was in middle school—I’ve never felt cooler or more proud of myself.)
Sound difficult? It isn’t. Local news stations are usually starved for human interest stories, and your adorable students are just the thing they need to perk up their broadcasts. Here’s how you do it:
- Look up your local TV station’s website. Find emails for the local morning show hosts and evening news producers; they’re usually prominently displayed. If not, just call the station and they’ll tell you who to contact.
- Draft a quick email along the lines of, “Hi, my name is _______ and I teach _____ at ______. My students are just about to finish [a community garden project, a book publication project, huge musical production] and I think that it would be a great story for your program. I’m available by email or by phone at _______, and I would love to set up a time for you to send a crew here, or for me to send a student to your station for an interview.” If you’re feeling ambitious, you can attach a picture of an especially photogenic child doing said project.
- Send it.
My nonprofit, Deep, just did this for two of our students, and I can’t tell you how much the students (and their parents!) were bursting with pride when they walked into the TV station for an interview. Check out their interview here: Television Interview with Students Discussing “Deep”.
If you try it for yourself, I’d love to hear how it goes! Make a comment here or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Such a great idea Catherine and congrats on the interview! You and your students did an amazing job!
We all love to be recognized for a job well done. Why not take Catherine’s advice? If it’s too late to do so this school year, hang on to the idea for next school year. Your students will never forget it.