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Iron Man

Gaetan Pappalardo Teacher, Author, Guitar––Word.

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Band: Pink Floyd
Record: The Wall
Track: Comfortably Numb

A certain color. Comfy

A thought. Cozy

A Song. Comfy

A Kiss. Cozy

Your wife. (or husband) Comfy

I get a break from boogie and snot land every Monday night when I’m chatting up Literary Theory with real adults. I have to be honest…I’m choking down the text like a sticky tennis ball. It’s tough stuff for this third grade teacher. But through the posh prose and the foreign names, a single beam of light keeps my eyes open and my brain focused. My notebook: my Iron Man notebook, to be exact. It might sound silly. It might sound materialistic. But yes, a super hero gives me comfort. I said it. I am the geek. (It’s not that he’s going to swoop down and save me from the evil villain. I’m not that geeky.) It’s the memories. The comfort of memories. I am lucky to have good memories from my childhood. (Thanks Mom and Dad) Playing in the basement with my action figures took me to comfy land. No reality. No adults. It was the mystery zone. The comfy zone.

So, when I was supposed to be listening to the professor lecturing on and on about the Romantic Period, I was thinking about my students. How do I make them comfy? How can I settle their restless souls? What have I done (or not done or allowed) to help them deal with the stressors of learning something new? It doesn’t have to be big. Just a tiny bit of comfy.

Let them…

…bring in personal journal for writing even though the lines are too small.

…read a book from home even though it’s a little too hard or too easy.

…use a favorite pen, even though it has a giant feather dangling off the eraser.

Kids need comfort.
Adults need comfort.

What comforts you?
What comforts your students? Make it happen.

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Students feel comfy when

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Students feel comfy when given the chance to be themselves, even when being themselves might not jive with our ideals. When they understand that they can put their personality stamp on things, maybe they will take more risks in the classroom.

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