For years, I have been sharing the sometimes magical, sometimes fantastical, and sometimes awful things that go on in our classroom. I have been honest in my blogs, I have presented what really happens, not diluted it or polished it to make myself look better. And while my students have blogged for years on their blog about being a member of our classroom I have never had one of them write it on here. Until tonight where one of my former 7th grade students, Corinne, agreed to write an honest post about what it is really like in our classroom. Besides adding paragraphs, I have not edited or added anything to this post. Thank you Corinne for your honest assessment of what it really looks like in our room!
There is no doubt that Mrs. Ripp’s classroom is a classroom that anyone would want to be in. Being in Mrs. Ripp’s classroom every week day for a year has taught me so much, not only about English but myself to. Mrs. Ripp’s classroom is place that makes everyone feel important and wanted. Through out the year we did various projects and had various assignments that students sometimes enjoyed and sometimes hated. For example last school year every student that had Mrs. Ripp as an English teacher got the chance to write a non-fiction picture book. This was my favorite project that we did through out the year. I think that so many kids enjoyed it because everyone got to express themselves in their own unique ways.
An example of a project that many students disliked was our book club projects. I think the problem for most of the students who didn’t like this project was the fact that they were being forced to read. That is what I personally didn’t like about the project. For me it wasn’t so much the project itself, it was the mind set it was giving me. So most kids told Mrs. Ripp that they were reading when they weren’t, and then looked up the summary of the book on Google so that when it came time to talk about the book they knew what was going on. Other kids would simply decide that they didn’t want to read and they didn’t want to do the project, so they weren’t going to do it. Others would try their hardest but their hearts just weren’t in it. So then when everyone presented their horrific projects to Mrs. Ripp and we all got bad grades it was this HUGE reality check for everyone. But of course no teacher wants their students to fail so there is always a second chance in Mrs. Ripp’s classroom. Sometimes the second chance was coming in during a study hall and talking about what you could have done better, sometimes it was studying more and then getting a chance take the test again. Getting these second chances makes a big difference in grades and how they improve.
Through out the year in her classroom you get a lot of chances to do a lot of cool things that are once in a life time experiences. I find myself referring to it as “her classroom” but I know that if Mrs. Ripp were writing this she would be referring to it as “our classroom” because that is what it really is to her and that makes a big difference in the way she teaches and how and what you learn in her classroom. All in all being in Mrs. Ripp’s classroom is fun, exciting, interesting, and an educational opportunity that I wish everyone could experience.