Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's Like Paper Facebook.

A few days ago I had a "silent discussion" happening in my classroom.  This is where the questions are posed on butcher block throughout my room and my students travel from table to table, quietly answering the questions and leaving responses for their peers.  They love it because everyone in the classroom has a voice--which can be as strong or silent as they choose.  They are pretty anonymous, believe me when I say no one knows each other's handwriting like we did when we were kids.

The days of passing notes, getting the love letter from the cute boy, and talking smack by passing the notebook back and forth are long over.  I can't remember the last time I've "confiscated" a note being passed.  Nope.  These days it's all about texting, messaging on Facebook, or the occasional email between friends.  Everything's electronic--making a statement dependent upon the font being used.  And god forbid it's in bold or all caps--look out.

When the discussion was over, I asked my kids what the experience was like for them.  I heard the same thing all day long--they loved being heard, feeling anonymous, and getting responses on their answers.  They liked how I was able to respond to so many of them and how they "talked" to some kids in the class that weren't necessarily their friends.  Everyone had a voice, not just the confident kids.

And then period 8 rolled around and one student gave the best analogy of the day.  "Miss Dr. Collins," he began, "it was like paper Facebook."  I couldn't help but grin just a bit.

He was showing me the importance of social media--the importance we all place on the feeling of being heard, which is exactly what Facebook does.  We put our thoughts out there, and hope to get a response.  The more responses we get, the more validated we feel.  We thrive on feeling connected--it's what links us all together, regardless of our walks in life.

So it was with a smile that I told him how right he was, wrote down his analogy so it wouldn't be forgotten, and let him know I'd be sharing his thoughts with my Facebook friends.  To which he got the most perplexed look on his face and said, "YOU have a Facebook?"  Yeah, if that didn't make me feel ancient, I don't know what will...


  1. Sounds like a wonderful lesson! Oh, my. I laughed at your student's astonishment! Yeah... I think some of my students thought I was some sort of robot that just walked into the classroom closet at night.

  2. It's funny how they think that! haha =)