From the students:
“We chose this topic because a lot of teachers don’t understand what their students go through. It felt amazing to have a voice in this subject, and we hope that teachers really listen and take our advice. The thing we learned about ourselves, is that it’s the small things that we appreciate. We realized that it’s not fancy celebrations or prizes that matter, just love and support from our teachers. Our class is special because we feel safe and loved every day. Those are things that are very important to us. Mrs. Arensberg gives us chances when we make mistakes. She teaches us how to make better choices, instead of just punishing us. While we are on break, we will catch up on sleep. We have a plan to stay in touch with our teacher through video lessons. We are not happy about being away from our class for this long. There are a lot of things we are unsure of while we are out. We just hope schools open again very soon.”
Casey Arensberg’s 5th grade class at George HallElementarySchool
The idea to do a video came from the students wanting to submit work into the MCPSS Film Festival. When we sat down and brainstormed meaningful ideas, the idea to speak to teachers was born. We have built very strong relationships in our class, and our students wanted to motivate other teachers to build those meaningful connections with them. I asked students to fill out a questionnaire, asking what they value most in a teacher. From there, the majority of students mentioned a warm welcome, being read to, the opportunity for growth instead of punishment, and motivation to succeed. This project was so enlightening for me. I just never knew how much they valued such small acts. They were all such a big part of creating this video, and I’m so happy that I will have this video to reflect on, and I will cherish these memories with this group.
Teacher Carey Arensberg
Here is the video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r1qP6KEyEG8&feature=youtu.be
(I was supposed to interview Ms. Arensberg’s class in person, but school’s shut down that week. If you have a suggestion or want to be interviewed during Soul-cial distancing, message me or email me at lynn@OurSouthernSouls.)