I want to thank the University of Connecticut's women's basketball coach, Geno Aureimma for speaking so directly to my first topic of import: Body Language. I asked my students Why should we care?. What messages are we communicating when we give "poor body language." What does "good body language look like." I then referenced an interview clip that went viral and planted the original seed for me.
Not knowing how these teenagers would respond, Coach Auriemma declared “We put a huge premium on body language, and if your body language is bad, you will never get in the game. Ever,” he said. “I don't care how good you are.” You can watch it here.
The first thing I heard from a student was "I love it." I wanted to hug him that very moment.
Students are not allowed to chew gum at school. This rule is broken on a daily basis. Why is forbidden? What's the big deal? Is it?
I shared with my students three resources.
1. The Emily Post Institute. I thought Miss Manners would frown upon gum chewing. Quite the contrary. Granted, this advice is for adults and in the work setting. Context is everything.
2. The Educator's Room: Students found us harsh...but I have to say, we are too often the ones scraping it from under the desk.
3. The Etiquette Guide: We agreed that this resource was the most helpful in terms of not only what to do but how to do it.
We concluded this session with Seahawk's Quarterback Russell Wilson dressed up as his coach for Halloween. Requisite white leather shoes, 'Hawks colors, headset and of course gum included.
More unwritten curriculum to write....
Pete chewing gum