Something I’m thinking about doing is taking snap shots of items in my classroom and using them as a way to, over time, give you a little visual tour of where I spend most of my waking hours. There is so much weird that happens inside these walls. You’ve heard about it, now you can see it.
The first stop on this magical, mystical adventure into the trenches of our public education system?
He was a creative exercise in shape identification. I call him “Snappy McSnarlsalot.” I think his given name is “Mr. Monster,” but that’s lame. He doesn’t even answer to it. He vastly prefers to be called Snappy, or even Sir McSnarlsalot (but only on very formal occasions).
I love that guy. I love looking at him every day. He makes me happy. I’m exceedingly proud of his overall design. Triangles played a central role, clearly. Spiky teeth were easy enough to come up with, as well as spiky hair, but triangular eyes? That’s thinking outside the box. And you might not be able to see it in the photo, but he used a magenta color around the green pupil to add some dimension. The kid creator would never say that. He can’t read or spell “dimension” and I might not be far off in saying he’s never used it in a sentence, at least one relating to art and not to Lego Star Wars. But it’s what he did intuitively, and that makes me so excited about the results of this little project. All he had to do was glue some shapes together into some kind of form, but he did it with such style. I’m going to stop there, though. I’ll keep to myself all the wonderful things I have to say about his use of the color green. (I mean, those eyebrows?)
I’m not the only one who’s noticed Snappy. Nearly every adult who walks into the room for the first time says, “Hey, who made that? It’s awesome.” Oh, you know, just a kid with a history of some severe behavior problems who walks in to school every day already feeling like a failure. You like it? Please, oh, please, please, please go tell him. Tell him specifically what you liked and why. Tell him you’re proud that he spent over an hour on it when previously he’d only attended to a task in five or ten minute bursts. Tell him how cool it is to see something he spent so much time creating, because in September he spent most of his time seeing what he could destroy or how many ways he could avoid anything remotely related to learning (including knocking over desks and throwing around his school supplies). Tell him you think he’s rad. Tell him he’s a fun kid. Tell him he’s smart (and mean it). Tell him all of those things because he’s working with a huge deficit of kind words in his life. We’ve got a lot of time to make up for, but it looks like he’s starting to believe all those things to be true about himself and that sure is a victory.
Oh, and while you’re telling him all those nice things, will you tell him I’m sorry I called the name “Mr. Monster” lame? I don’t really think that, it was for comedic impact. Thanks.