Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The One With Shiny New Neighbors #sol15

Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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Guess what!? We have new neighbors! I love new neighbors when new neighbors are friendly and nice and have a baby. We met them when they stopped in last week and then the moving truck was officially here over the weekend. When they told us they were moving in, I felt a surge of exhilaration. I'm such a fan of people in general but this couple seemed like two women I could seriously be friends with and they would be living two doors down. I imagined my kids playing with their six-month-old son, hanging out in the driveway on summer nights, borrowing a cup of sugar from time to time. 

After they went inside, I looked across the driveways at one of my long-time neighbors, threw my arms in the air and silently cheered. She laughed at me, swatting the air to tell me to calm down. I can't help it. I love making new friends but her reaction reminded me that I need to not freak them out by being overly excited. It's hard to help it though; when I get excited, I get excited.

It reminded me of this awesome John Green quote about being a nerd.

"...nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff…Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”

Speaking of uncontrollable excitement. I found out last week that a proposal I'm part of for NCTE was accepted. I'm thrilled to be sharing how teachers might empower students to engage in passion-driven research. After visiting many classrooms over the past three years, I've found that teachers who are sincerely energized and enthusiastic about what they're teaching are the teachers who seem to get the students motivated about learning, too. One of my teacher friends who will be presenting with me at NCTE is totally a teacher who is passionate about her subject and that genuine love of learning clearly carries over into her students. 

So maybe I get a little too excited about the potential of extremely awesome new neighbors moving in, but shouldn't we all have something we get jump-up-and-down, throw-your-arms-up-in-the-air excited about from time to time? And wouldn't everything be more fun if we geeked out once in a while? 

What gets you hop-out-of-your-seat excited? I would love to hear about it!
Why hold back your excitement for anything you truly enjoy?
How might we help students feel free to express their enthusiastic nerdiness?

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