Each fall and spring I (Clive) invite the students – 65 this year – in my teacher education cohort program to an evening potluck at our house. Most of them come, some with their spouses or significant others, and we are deluged with food – especially desserts! It is a great opportunity for them to get to know each other better and for me to finally learn all their names. It also models the type of community building and teacher-student relationship that I think is so important in any school or university class.
We had the fall party a couple of weeks ago just after our fourth class together, which was on practice teaching and the theory-practice relationship generally (sounds dull I know). One thing I had discussed with them was the importance of bringing our theories about life and education down to earth, using practical ideas that we remind ourselves of in the heat of the moment. I told them how one of the teachers in our research project was having difficulty with her class last year, so she wrote “don’t take it personally” in capital letters (DTIP) on her wrist and found it helped.
Two of the students with special IT talents arranged to have a slab cream cake made, decorated with a photo of me in blue along with three of these sayings: another was “you can’t do and be everything.” They brought the cake to the party and put it on display, and we all hoed in when dessert time came. I didn’t mind having to eat my words, they were delicious!