I’ve given my introduction many, many, many, many, many, many, many times I’ve given this introduction to both senior high school students and seniors lol. Two of the classes that I teach are at the University. Those classes are jammed packed with adults of all ages, mostly seniors and retirees.
In my introduction, I show this picture (below) and explain that students at my last school, in Arizona, liked to draw pictures and give them to me. When students saw that I liked their art and would display it in “my corner” they began to leave more art on my desk. It started with Pikachu and by the end I had a collection.
Yesterday, after my first lesson at the University, a student approached me. She handed me a card. It took me a moment to recall that during my introduction I allowed students time to discuss topics that I brought up. During this discussion, she’d expressed her love for animation. She’d tried to tell me that she loved “Totoro” but I had no clue who he was. There were lots of words that I understood but didn’t recognize.
She’d handed me a picture that she’d drawn! I read “Studio Ghibli” on the card and was confused immediately. She explained that this was a picture of Totoro and his gang.
Now I will make use of Japan’s many dvd rental spots and find some Totoro to watch. No matter how old they are, students are students. If they express an interest, in anything, the best thing any teacher can do is invest some time learning about whatever it is. It builds relationship and surprises the heck out of that student when you can dialogue on their favorite show, song, movie, etc. It shows that you were listening to them and that you care about their interests.