Ryan is usually the first one into the room, which is fitting, given his intense personality. He is eager, sometimes over-eager, to show what he knows. In time, he and I will talk about how he relates to his peers, and how it sometimes gets in the way of his working well in a group.
In the meantime, he has this little ritual. He says hi to me, walks to his desk, sets down his backpack, and then he turns and reads the daily quote. I put up a new saying every day on a white board perched over the chalkboard at the front of the room. I use bright colors and try to have the quote relate to the day’s activities as often as possible. Ryan always has a comment, some reaction.
Not everyone reads the quotes, and even if they do, they don’t often say anything. But for some students, these trigger a conversation with other students or with me that sometimes dive into really meaningful areas. Some students write every one of them down in their journals.
Today, the quote reads: “If you know, teach. If you don’t know, learn.”
Ryan asks, “Is this about the study groups?”
“Yep. That summarizes pretty well what we’re going to be trying to do today.”