25 November 2007

Who Do Teens Admire?

This week in my year 9 English class, students were delivering prepared oral presentations on the subject "A Person I Admire". I love this assignment. Every year, I have been delighted as students have usually prepared well and revealed the heroes in their lives.

Most years there are a couple of 'celebrity' heroes and they have predominantly been sporting and entertainment heroes until this year. I was delighted with the 'famous' heroes chosen this year, social activists, business people doing extraordinary things and courageous survivors were the only 'personally unknowns' in the speeches. This is really important to me because I feel young people need real role models. Role models that are worthy of their admiration and worth imitating.

Most students select a family member. Grandparents, mothers, fathers, aunts, brothers and sisters are all the people most looked up to by teenagers over the 6 years I have been teaching year 9 English. The love and gratitude the teenagers express in these speeches are precious. Whenever I can, I let parents know this because I wonder if they realise how much their young person appreciates and respects them.Usually they are surprised.

Tears came to my eyes in class a few times whilst listening to the speeches as they were so touching. As I looked around the room, some of the students were feeling similarly moved. I felt proud this class has created such a safe learning environment that they can share their passions and express their emotions within it. It feels human to me.


cerebralmum said...

I think teaching is a difficult job, but having days like that would make it so worthwhile.

Hopefully, in the next few years I'll be able to become one myself.

Joh said...

Teaching is like parenting. It can be challenging but it's infinately rewarding and I personally love it.

Wow, it would be great to become a teacher, I think you would love it too!

tiff said...

It sounds like an amazing class. I bet you are one of those teachers who really touches lives. There are some teachers I will never forget, they have helped to shape who I am.
You sound so proud of your students.

Joh said...

They are an amazing class. I am really proud of them and enjoy working with them.