Thursday Lunch Update
Posted on April 27, 2017 at 3:00 am by Lisa
Shelli (@druinok) requested an update about Thursday Lunch. As long as I am in school on Thursday, I head to the cafeteria for lunch. I have kind of gotten into a rut with whom I sit, but I am in the cafeteria each week. I have a student teacher this semester, so part of the reason I’ve been in a seating rut is that I am trying to stay connected to a few groups of students.
Generally what happens is I start to think about who I am going to sit with sometime on Wednesday. Sometimes I touch base with a student who sits at the table (which is what I usually do with the group of sophomore boys I sit with sometimes), sometimes I just show up at the table. What I found is if I wander around without knowing who I want to sit with, I usually end up wandering around and it is harder for me to decide where to sit. Once I decide on where to sit, I ask the group of students if it’s okay if I sit with them. I haven’t been told no yet, which has been refreshing.
Once I get settled at the table, I try to listen to whatever the students are talking about. Sometimes they’ll continue whatever conversation was happening before I sat down. Sometimes they’ll ask me a question. But generally, I try to spend more time listening to them rather than talking. I try to ask questions of them to spur on the conversation. When lunch is about over and I am getting up to leave, I thank them for allowing me to “crash” their table.
Some general observations:
With being out of the classroom for a couple of months, going to the cafeteria and having lunch with the students has allowed me to stay connected with the students. I have really appreciated this and looked forward to Thursdays because of this. Thursday lunches have also made being out the classroom a little easier.
For a while, students were requesting to have me come to the their table. That was really cool and made me feel pretty good as well. It gets harder to remember who I’m supposed to have lunch with when I have a couple of requests, but fortunately, the students will remind me.
When I’m at lunch with the students, I try my best to ask questions that aren’t about math or my class. I want to hear about what’s going on in their lives and learn a little more about the students as people. I’ve learned that one of my students is learning to be a blacksmith, that another is an absolutely amazing writer, and yet another loves to cook. We just don’t have enough time during class to have these types of conversations. I love that I have gotten the opportunity to learn more about my students this way.
I feel like I am more connected to my students than in years past. Part of that may be that I have now had most of my Algebra 2 students for two years and I have had more time to develop relationships with them. I feel that part of it is due to going to the cafeteria for lunch and connecting with my students in a different way. I am really glad that I’ve done this and I think I will continue to do Thursday lunches in the future.Tags: community building, reflection, update