A few weeks ago, one of my students who excelled during my poetry unit, asked me if I liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I shared a story with him about how I had heard the RHCP for the first time when I was in 8th grade, and that yes, I like them very much. We discussed the forth-coming new album and exchanged our excitement. I also told him that, yes, I had seen the video for Dani California, and that I too thought it was good.
Today, I asked him if he had heard the new album, and he said that he was unable to find it, and that he didn’t think it was out in Malaysia yet. To which I answered, “What do you call this?” I watched his eyes opened wide as he looked at the double CD I held in front of him. “Here take this home, burn it, and bring it back to me tomorrow.”
As he walked away, I thought about how I would have reacted if I had a teacher in eighth grade that not only listened to the same music I did, but also let me borrow his CDs and even would say something like, “Make sure to pay special attention to the songs: If, Snow and Wet Sand, they may change your life.” Why did our teachers go out of their way to expand the generational gap, when it makes so much more sense to close it?
In another class, another student asked me if I have any Cranberries, specifically the song Zombie. I said that I didn’t at school, but that I may have it at home. I came home and burned her a copy, which I will give to her tomorrow with a few other Cranberry tracks.
The best thing about teaching is how you are always doing it.