Every year, without a doubt, I have the following conversation in my room.
Student: Mrs. Jayne, what’s your favorite color?
Student: Brown’s not a color. Seriously, what’s your favorite color?
(By this time, they either realize that brown is a color, or I tell them to go back to their seat and look in their crayon box. Sure enough, brown is there.)
Student: Okay…Why do you like brown?
(Perhaps they can get me here…)
Me: Because it is the color of all the things I love: coffee, chocolate, trees, peanut butter…
Student: Oh…okay. (Makes sense.)
Then they go “skip-to-my-Lou” back to their seats and start drawing. Soon, everyone knows the teacher’s favorite color is brown, and everything they make is that color. What I don’t tell them is that brown is also my favorite color because it gets them thinking. They ask questions: Is that your favorite shirt because it’s brown? Is your dog brown? Do you like brown because that’s the color of your eyes? Should I color the background brown so the teacher will read it and like it?
By the end of the year, my room is filled with brown drawings: coffee, pictures of me and them holding hands (with brown hair even though they are blonde!), dogs, birds, signs, etc…The brown crayons have the paper peeled off or don’t exist, markers are dry (this is when I wish markers were sold in separate colors), and writings have brown borders all over them.
I look at all the things they’ve made throughout the year and smile, or cry, because they made them for me. I am their audience.
I love teaching!