I’m in a quandary. (To be honest, I’m not sure that’s even an appropriate application of the term, but I’m going with it.)
During the first week of school, I really want to show my students this.
I want to fire them up with this. Sure, it’s an ad for Nike and I’m completely okay with that. (I rocked a Just Do It shirt and covered my walls with Bo Jackson during the 80s and 90s. I turned out okay, try to support workers rights, and wear only Mizunos now.)
Last spring I showed Casey Neistat’s “Make It Count” video to my seniors, offering up the opportunity to make their own, localized version as an alternative to their final reflection paper. Several of them made some pretty fantastic pieces that I think did a better than adequate job of serving as a capstone for them. (I’m hoping they will give me the thumbs up to link them here at future date.)
This year, I would also like to start off the year with this video from StudioCanoe.
My buddy, Travis, turned me on to it last year and we found it a tremendous vehicle for discussing creativity, problem solving and growing up with our freshmen. I also put it to use in my Secondary Education – English Methods course at the University of Maine at Farmington. We discussed at length how it could help students to see opportunities and choices they may not immediately notice, solutions to problems that are not immediately evident, familiar situations approached from unfamiliar angles.
And finally, I’d like to show this year’s crop an inspiring mini-documentary from Nirvan Mullick.
This one made the rounds across social media this spring and continues to make people consider the power of the individual and the capacity for good we have in our culture. Nice people doing nice things for people who make nice things. And our students this spring responded well to it, getting fired up not just by Caine, but also Nirvan. The story there seems to be about the arcade, but for our students working on community action projects, it is Nirvan’s interest in Caine and his rally of the troops that spoke volumes.
So there you are, three great, inspirational videos. And I’m still stuck.
The other day I posted a comment to Jeff about my worries around forcing inspiration upon students. Each year our school hosts a three-screen, inspirational film full of horrific, tragic, and powerful parables about young people making terrible choices with severe consequences. And I’m always wondering how effective those things are — captive audiences sitting en masse, distracted by friends, annoyed by the preachy quality of those sorts of videos. (To be fair, those are well produced and feature fairly decent soundtracks.) And thinking about those videos got me wondering, “Should I do the same thing in my classroom?”
I’m not sure. As the year starts, we won’t have laptops yet so giving student choice will not really be on the table. Once we get rolling, then I may just post these sorts of fare on Lore and let a good discussion develop them, offer the chance in class for students to discuss if they so wish.
But for now, I think they’ll probably all have to get a fire shoved down their bellies.