"I always start each year by giving my kids a questionnaire that asks about their interests, hobbies, attitudes, and past experiences. I use this information to get to know students and begin establishing a rapport. Left to my own devices, for example, I would never be motivated to keep up with pop culture trends, but if a large number of my students are listening to a particular artist or watching a specific TV show (Stranger Things anybody?), I make a point of consuming the same media so I can connect with them over more than just academic content. This extra effort on my part—cultural research, if you will—has worked wonders with the kids at Millington. The look of shock on their faces when they realize I can quote lines from Hamlet as readily as the lyrics to any 2Pac song is priceless."
Tupac, Shakespeare, and ‘Stranger Things’: How a top Tennessee teacher relates to her students, Chalkbeat
Katherine Watkins (TN '17) ELA Instructional Coach
Connections amplifies the voices of Milken Educators by focusing attention on the work and experiences of excellent educators across the nation. Through articles written by and about the work of Milken Educators, as well as features exploring classroom technology, strategies, education news and more, Connections sparks meaningful conversations about education.