Listening to Carol Anne McGuire and Peter H. Reynolds talk about the past season of Rock Our World made me think about what ROW meant to me and my students this past fall.
Of course, my first season of ROW was a learning experience for all of us, trying to figure out how GarageBand and Animation-ish worked, how to save the files, how to access the iDisk, and how to chat with classes around the world. It was fun to learn alongside my students, since I think it helped my students understand that sometimes the teacher doesn’t know all the answers. Sometimes, the students knows more than teacher, as became the case in using Animation-ish.
Peace was the focus of season 13 of ROW. Peace was also a necessary focus in our classroom, as it felt like we would never reach peace in our classroom. My students quickly incorporated “ish” into their discussions of peace and into their daily language. “Don’t squish my ish!” became a common saying in our classroom. “I think everyone knows how to make their own ish” was said by one student during an abstract art project.
The culmination of the season was the webcast of the ROW International Family Night. We had at least half of our families there, many teachers, administrators, and even some of my own friends and family. That night, while a learning experience for all my students on public speaking and a learning experience for myself on having multiple students prepared to speak, was incredible. Not only did we share with the world and the world shared with us, but my students were teaching their parents, siblings, and other teachers how to use all the technology they use day-to-day in the classroom.
I think that is what leads to peace in the classroom: every person knowing they are able to contribute in a special way. As that one student still says, “I think everyone knows how to make their own ish.” And everyone’s ish is unique and important.