Monday, September 17, 2007

The Meaning of a Name

I like to think that one of the reasons that misbehavior, violence, and gang activity are so prevalent in the population I teach is due to a lack of meaning in my students’ lives.

When children grow up without learning to value themselves and positive things in their lives (Or without having positive things to value) it sometimes manifests in the devil-may-care attitude that many ED kids possess. If a student doesn’t value himself, then no amount of positive behavior management or negative consequences can make that kid buy into the school system.

My goal for the year is to help each student realize and recognize some of the meaning in their own life. I’m not looking for huge changes, but hopefully a decline in the most dangerous and risky behaviors that my students often display.

I started the “Meaning”ful goal in a very literal way this school year. For each student I adhered a name tag to their desk with the researched meaning of their name. I was surprised with how tickled many of my students were, they walked around the classroom reading their meanings and the meanings of their classmates. Most of the students thought it was cool, and one students asked me to look up his middle name as well.

What interested me, is that several different names had a similar meaning of leader, king or teacher…and all the meanings were positive.

It’s a small start, but at least it was a positive one!


Blogger Teacher said...

How did you find out what their name meant? Please tell me there is a website, where I can just type in their name and poof... there is the wonderful meaning ful meaning?!?!? :) Great idea btw!

Monday, September 17, 2007 6:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is such a cool idea. Even though I can't put them on their desks because I have so many students that sit at the same one, I'm going to try to incorporate it somehow. I'm excited to see how it impacts your students this year!

Monday, September 17, 2007 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ms. C said...

I just googled "Baby name meanings" and tons of name-meaning sites came up.

For the more obscure African-American names I googled "African-American baby names"

Who knew that Latoya was a variation of Victoria?

Monday, September 17, 2007 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VERY cool!! :) That's a great idea!! i'm so proud of you!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 6:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

What a great idea! I'm definitely "borrowing" it and using it in my classroom!

And, you're right, I can count on one hand the number of times a child's misbehavior had anything to do with school. It might happen at school, but the root cause is usually somewhere else. Understanding that makes a big difference in all of the interactions between a teacher and a student.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 6:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Schoolgal said...

You haven't posted lately. Hope all is well.

Saturday, October 06, 2007 8:58:00 AM  

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