Meta for You, Metaphor Me

Today I let it slip.

I admitted to my juniors that I write. Then I explained how I’m involved in this 30-day blogging challenge; I asked for their help and meant it. They know my student-centered approach to learning is transparent–a window to worlds beyond the confines of our classroom–but I wanted them to craft their own metaphor about what this class represents to them. At the risk of overly-honest feedback, I collected their responses. English teachers will do anything for a good metaphor.

One student interprets our classroom as “a clubhouse–a group of close friends working and learning great things together with every meeting.” The relationships within the Clubhouse provide a catalyst to our collective transformation into something beyond explanation–something greater.

*a rainbow or mural; full of light and colorful ideas
*a blank canvas with each student the paint, ready to contribute to the picture
*a piece of music in which a variety of information comes together as a harmonious chord
*a collection of Shakespeare’s works; some days are full of comedy, some full of tragedy, but mostly just plain weird

Our class is good for HEALTH & WELL-BEING…
*a biscuit–delicious and nutritious for the brain
*a comforting pillow–eliminates stress and gets me through the day
*a cold drink on a hot summer day; a nice contrast to my stress-filled classes
*like Taco Bell–always an adventure, full of variety, quenches our hunger, and might give you diarrhea
*like Lipton–not my cup of tea, but still warm and enjoyable

*a tempestuous storm or whirlwind of insight and knowledge; stormy at first, then a peaceful calm of understanding
*like jumping into water–there is pressure to risk jumping in, but after adjusting provides a calming welcome
*a guest of honor at a surprise party–at first you might be startled or shocked, but eventually you relax and enjoy the change in routine
*a television series–we never know how it is going to end
*a circus–entertaining and random, but requires skill to perform (and includes several clowns)
*a pair of 3D glasses that make literature pop with life, keeping students engaged and interested
*an amusement park–once you go in, you can go so many directions; some are crazy, scary, exciting, and you can even get lost in it; but at closing time, you ultimately find your way. You come out with a new perspective.
*a brand new pair of neon running shoes–bright, colorful, and helps get you where you want to go, but doesn’t show you the direction or pull you there. It gives the freedom to be independent on your own adventure.

Our class is GROWTH-MINDED…
*a woodland hike–with many paths to get to the same destination
*an elevator that lifts me up from the boredom of other classes
*a water slide–we climb many steps and put in the work, but have the time of our life going down
*where the students are flowers blossoming through the concrete–in a confined environment Mr. Durst promotes our growth as individuals

I had many of these students when they were freshmen and now I have the privilege to work with them a second time before they graduate. I respect their intelligence and integrity, so I trusted their ability to supply the content of this post. In typical fashion, they did not disappoint.



  1. redpenconfessions

    I love the idea of asking your students for the metaphor! I’m a huge fan of eliciting student feedback–no matter how uncomfortable it makes me feel. Usually it has the opposite effect because usually it helps me understand what I’m doing RIGHT and why I should do that MORE. Sounds like you had a similar experience.

    Congrats on blog of the week! I’ve enjoyed following you through this challenge 🙂

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