“Late Arrival: You just got here, you're not entitled to have us explain the entire plot to you up to this point. Unless we're feeling generous, that is.” Clipd.com
I don’t watch a lot of movies (no spoiler alerts here) so I have to admit that the hype around Avengers: Infinity War was lost on me. I know that I saw Iron Man eons ago and I liked the first Thor, but I tend to get lost in sequels with sudden character changes and completely different tones to the movies. We won’t even talk about what Pixar did to the Cars franchise. In this one, they apparently weave a decade worth of movies together while simultaneously dropping cliffhangers for the next one.
It grossed a billion dollars in a week and a half. There’ll be a next one lol.
For anyone who was only coming into the franchise at this movie? Well, there wasn’t much point unless you did some binge-watching for homework, or you have a very patient friend who will answer all the questions you blurt out in the theater. Really, it’s no different than someone jumping in to read the script of Romeo and Juliet in Act 5 and wondering what an apothecary is, why a quarantined monk with a letter is so important, and what possessed Romeo to kill Paris. (Oh, and Juliet’s not actually dead?) Of course, if you watch the Zefferelli movie version, all of those plot events are left out anyway and it’s debatable whether you’ll be more or less confused!
I started thinking about this when I was scrolling on my phone and this meme popped up: Don’t judge a student’s story by the chapter you walk in on. Most of the people criticizing the new Avenger movie were ones who simply weren’t familiar with the characters and plot lines. Many people outright dismiss Shakespeare when they’ve never seen it performed or considered the deep themes of humanity it expresses and the universal truths it carries 400 years later.
In the same way, I really feel for parents as their child moves through the school system. We don’t have the background knowledge of that student that their parent does, and like the binge-watching movie fan, we have a lot of catching up to do. I can only imagine how frustrating that must feel, like a looping ‘groundhog day’ scenario of repeating your child’s story – their strengths and their needs – over and over, year after year.
Constantly advocating. I know that’s hard.
Although we have transition meetings between schools and pass along student portfolios with exemplars of their work, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The work of Dr. Debbie Pushor and the Walk Alongside parent forum happening in a few weeks, will be a good starting point in addressing that piece. As their vision states: “Together we will work to interrupt the taken for grantedness of schooling to create a landscape on which parent knowledge is honoured and used alongside teacher knowledge to shape curriculum, teaching, and learning.” We are coming partway into a student’s story. Parents have been there since word one.
To state the obvious, as a teacher it’s so important to know your students. Not just in their reading and writing skills, but as people. For the most part, I feel that I do. Besides visiting with the kids and hearing about their sports, when you live in the community you tend to hear about more events that they’re involved in, or see their parents post updates on social media. So when we did our visible goal setting at the end of March, one of mine was to do individual check-ins with students. I knew it was significant, but I didn’t anticipate hearing much from them that I didn’t already know. Boy, was I wrong.
Sitting and talking one-on-one with students, a few were ‘all good, everything’s good’ conversations, maybe a bit guarded. But more were not. I just listened. I didn’t write notes. But they added pages to their stories that I never knew before that conversation.
Unfortunately, because our system is linear, I’m going to feel like I’m walking into the middle with every student, every year. Having said that, it’s far better to walk in at chapter 10 then to never consider their story at all. Playing catch-up is simply a reality. So as we head into this last month of school, I’ll be thinking of other ways to help pass that knowledge on to the next year, even if it means being that annoying friend at the movie theater. “Why would they cast Woody Harrelson in the new Star Wars? That doesn't even make sense. And is this a prequel? Does it fit between the 2nd and 3rd installments, or the 3rd and 4th? There was a boom mic hanging there. Did you see it? That’s totally not what happened in the book. In the book…”
Kiitos-Hiy Hiy-Thanks for reading!
Haha. This happens a lot. Just this last week even! I take it as a compliment every time, although I wasn't quite sure when someone called me grandma once lol. Happy Mother's Day!
Perpetual amateur. Lifelong learner. Vice-Principal. Teacher. Musician. Mom. Annnnd if you're reading this, then I'm still a blogger.