High Fives – a Convert
Posted on September 1, 2015 at 6:52 pm by Lisa
I have to say, when I listened to Glenn Waddell talk about giving high fives as his learners entered the classroom, I was a little skeptical. I thought it wouldn’t be my thing. I thought that I would be copying another teacher in my building (who gives handshakes to students as he is in the the hallway) and that might be weird. But, if you listen to Glenn describe it, I thought it would be a good thing to try.
As school approached, I really started to get nervous about doing high fives. What if the kids saw it as copying the other teacher giving handshakes? Was this “my thing?” – would it seem disingenuous to my students? I almost didn’t do it.
I am proud to say that I am a member of…
(Thank you @conniehamilton.)
We have had five days of school and I have been at my door each period, waiting with a high five for my students. I have a few that prefer to fist bump, and I am fine with that. My observations:
My Calculus students, who I thought would care the least about the high fives / have the worst reaction to them, actually love them the most, I think. I didn’t make it to the door on time today and they hunted me down in the classroom to get their high fives. They are the first class I have each day. It warms my heart to watch their reactions to high fives each day.
It amazes me how many students will be walking up to my class with a frown or serious look on their faces and when they see me with my hand extended for a high five, they smile. That makes me happy.
After five days of being at the door and high fiving students, students are positioning their books to be ready to give me a high five as they approach my class. I have had students high five me in the hall when I am not at my door and walking in the hallway (when I don’t have a class). It makes me smile.
I was trying to put my finger on why high fives are working for me. It comes back to a conversation I had with Christopher Danielson and John Golden at the TMC15 Barbeque Friday evening. I cannot remember how the conversation started, but we were talking about Christopher’s statement, “Find what you love. Do more of that.” I had said that I thought I loved community but when it came to teaching math, I didn’t think that was what I loved. I thought I loved doing puzzles. John had asked something along the lines of “Why not community?” or in other words, why couldn’t I love community to the point that I did more of that in my classroom. My response was that I wasn’t sure.
But as I see how things have gone so far in the first five days, maybe it is community that I want to build more of into my class. Not to the point that it’s all touchy-feely and rainbows and unicorns, though. High-fiving helps to build community in my classes. It’s about the community, stupid, remember?
I am a high five convert. Thanks, Glenn.Tags: community, high fives, TMC15