I taught one of my very own lesson plans today on a poem by Robert Frost called “Mending Wall.” Its a poem about two neighbors who come together once a year only to reinforce the wall that separates their property. They come together only to solidify their separateness. Its a very ironic poem and that was the point of the lesson: to help students understand and identify irony.
In an effort to relate this same kind of irony to students’ lives I showed a music video called “Can We Autocorrect Humanity?” by a rapper named Prince Ea. Its a music video about smartphones/technology as a means of bringing people together, but also as a means of pushing people further apart. Technology both connects us and disconnects us. It connects us to endless possibilities in the virtual world, but disconnects us from our present reality. We had a class discussion on relating the music video to the poem, and the students were all so engaged! One student related facebook to the wall in the poem because its a place where “friends” come together, but in a very fake way. They were identifying irony and connecting the poem to their everyday lives, so impressive!
I am so proud of my lesson and the discussion it prompted, but the point of this blog post is in something else. After class one of my students came up to me and said, “Thank you for the message today.” She said that sometimes she feels like she is the only person who feels disconnected from others and it was reassuring to hear her fellow classmates share the same feeling. She gave me this genuine smile, said, “You’re going to be a great teacher,” and walked out of the room.
I will never forget that moment.