Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 26- Girl Scouts and Stirrings

Oh man.  "Girl Scouts and Stirrings."  I hope that title doesn't get me put onto some sort of watch list.  I promise this will be completely innocent :).

Since I wrote about brownie sundaes last year, making a donation to the Girl Scouts this year was the most clever thing I could come up with.  Brownies are a type of Girl Scout, in case you didn't know.  That makes sense, right?

Besides making INCREDIBLE cookies, the Girl Scouts Organization is a wonderful thing for young girls to be a part of.   They use all of the right girl power words in their descriptions to win me over- empowering, courage, confidence, character. 

In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill-building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect; develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making; and contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.

Although I was a total failure as a Girl Scout (that's a story for another day), I still wholeheartedly believe in the organization, what they stand for, and what they do.  Time to donate!  Is it time to buy my peanut butter patties yet?

http://www.girlscouts.org/

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In yesterday's reading of The Giver that my students did at home, they got to the section about "stirrings."  When I originally decided to teach this book, I debated back and forth about how I wanted to handle this part.  On the one hand, the thought of discussing stirrings with a bunch of eighth graders was both terrifying and mind boggling.  On the other hand, delving into this issue and how they deal with it in the community in the novel is important.  It really gets into the heart of some of the main ideas of the book.  I decided that I just couldn't ignore it, and I'd have to figure out a way to deal with it. 

Today was the big day.  I had my little "family units" (term from the book) work in their groups to answer discussions questions, one per group.  After a few minutes, I brought the class back together to jigsaw and talk about the questions.  When I got to the group with the questions, "Why does Jonas start to take the pills?  What are the pills supposed to do?  Explain," I took a deep breath.  Here we go!  The kids gave the correct answer while tiptoeing around the delicate subject area as much as possible.  While giggling like... well, an eighth grader... on the inside, I kept my composure on the outside.  I discussed the idea of the "romantic feelings" Jonas had and the fact that there were physical feelings that accompanied these.  We talked about how uncomfortable it would be in our society for some of the kids to have to sit down and share these things with their parents at the breakfast table every morning.  We talked about how the idea of attraction really wasn't even a factor in the selection of spouses in the book.  We talked about all of the things I was hoping we'd get to and more.

The best part of all of this was the level of maturity with which we were all able to participate in the discussion.  Yes, I included myself in that.  My sense of humor can often be a little immature.  Shocking, I know.  My students surprised me and floored me all day with how insightful, thoughtful, and mature they were in our discussions.  Sure, there were some giggles and some red faces, but if that was the worst of it, I'll take it!  My confidence in my classroom management and my ability to broach some more difficult subjects is rising by the day.

Thank you, stirrings, you made my day. 

1 comments:

Ashley and Nate said...

I was a failure of a girl scout too. I didn't last long.

I'm also pretty sure that I would not have been able to keep my composure while talking about "delicate subject matter". Nice work teacher. :)