Teachers' Corner: Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

Page 1 of 1
May 08, 2012

In honor of National Teacher Day (May 8) and Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11), Teachers’ Corner offers the latest success stories and letters we’ve received at WWE.com.

Teachers' Corner is a place for educators to share their stories about how they use WWE as a tool in their classrooms. Stay tuned to Teachers' Corner for more stories about how WWE has helped students succeed. Are you an educator with a story you want to share with WWE.com's Teachers' Corner? E-mail us.

The following letter came from Patrick Holmes, Regional Editor/Freedom ENC, Editor & Publisher/The Free Press, and Susan Powell, Sixth Grade Language Arts teacher from Contentnea-Savannah School in Kinston, N.C.:

The sixth grade classes at Contentnea-Savannah School near Kinston, N.C., can boast of a boatload of WWE fans. Not only do the young people follow WWE's Superstars and Divas, but many also participate in the WrestleMania Reading Challenge. It was natural, then, to use this enthusiasm for WWE as the basis of a writing exercise in which the sixth graders produce their own newspaper.

The newspaper is just one activity of the writing program in which Contentnea-Savannah partners with The Free Press, the daily newspaper in Kinston, and the writers and editors of its news staff.

For this edition of the newspaper, students listened to a video interview with Sheamus found on YouTube, took notes on what the two-time WWE Champion said and discussed Sheamus' comments in class. From their notes and the discussion, they developed their own feature stories. The stories are published in a small newspaper that includes photos of the classes and that is distributed to the students.

Here are a couple of excerpts from their feature stories on Sheamus:

By Brittany Houston

Sheamus said that wrestling is family entertainment when we saw him on a video. He is from a place called Dublin, Ireland, and is called the Celtic Warrior. He has three signature moves called the High Cross, the Brogue Kick and the Irish Curse. He is most popular in Ireland because that’s where he is from originally. His height is 6-foot-4 and he weighs 267 pounds. …

In an interview he said that he wanted to be a wrestler since he was 4. He travels all around the world for wrestling and in 2010 he was King of the Ring. He sang in the Ireland Boys’ Choir when he was little. He was interviewed on a late night show where he shared this information.

By Matthew Gray

Sheamus is a WWE Superstar. He is from Dublin, Ireland, and is 6-foot-4. His alias is The Celtic Warrior, and he is also the 2010 King of the Ring. … He has traveled to many countries like China and Japan. He has an Irish accent, his hair is orange and he also has an orange beard. …

China is also a big fan of Sheamus because he looks so different from them. His skin is very pale, and he even has an action figure with pale skin. In his interview, he said he didn’t like for us to call his action figure a “doll!”

*

A Pennsylvania public library shares how a WWE-inspired club has gotten children and families more interested in reading:

Great news! The Reading Public Library in Reading, Pa., (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) recently won a Berks County Outstanding Program Award for its WWE-inspired "Wrestling Club"!

After noting the popularity of our library's kid-friendly WWE Superstar biographies, it became clear that the Reading Public Library should go to the mat and use professional wrestling as an exciting opportunity to reach out to our young patrons.

Children were invited to wrestle up a good book with us each month at Wrestling Club, which featured a Superstar biography, a cool WWE-inspired craft, and a televised match that the children could watch together. Each program focused on a different Superstar chosen by kids' suggestions. Children listened to a book about the Superstar and looked for special stats and interesting facts to add to our "Tale of the Tape” posters where we listed the Superstar's height, finishing moves, adversaries and other pertinent information.

Each program also featured a discussion activity: When a biography mentioned that John Cena turned to body building and wrestling as a result of bullying, the children discussed the issue and charted how the positive decisions Cena made after being bullied are what led him to the championship. At another session, we read that Rey Mysterio was one of the shortest champions, so children practiced measuring skills and built a height chart of Superstars and themselves.

Children then created a craft to represent the featured Superstar: They designed posters, decorated masks and made armbands. Kids were thrilled to make items they see on their favorite Superstars and parents shared photos of their children waving their posters around while watching Raw and SmackDown at home.

The posters and crafts were used for our final event: watching a wrestling match together. Children treated the televised match as if it were live at the library and brandished their posters and apparel accordingly. They shared their knowledge by naming different moves as they happened, taught each other cheers, and booed the bad guys.

Just like book characters, WWE Superstars often face tough moral decisions, harrowing betrayals and existential dilemmas along with other literary-style twists and turns. Children were able to practice their analytical and critical thinking skills as we discussed the storyline that led up to our main event match. This led to some great teachable moments about bullying, friendship and morality. Children questioned Superstars' decisions, evaluated the causes and consequences of a Superstar's action, and brainstormed alternatives to the final outcome. As unlikely as it first seemed, pro wrestling actually fit right in with our more traditional literary programs.

What was most surprising about the success of Wrestling Club was the amount of families that participated. Initially designed to be a "Guys Read" inspired program for boys, we found entire families, including moms, participating in the reading, craft, and cheering at the match.

Several students from a special education school became involved, and parents used Wrestling Club as a place for their children to practice social skills and make friends. Most importantly, Wrestling Club honors our children's interests and lets them know that what's important to them is important to us, too.

Thanks, WWE, for being part of our library!

Marissa Guidara

Reading Public Library Children’s Department

*

Paul Wulff, a past contributor to Teachers’ Corner, shares some exciting news with WWE.com in his latest letter:

I wanted to let you know that I was just honored with winning the American Pioneer of Teaching Award in Ohio and I am up for the national award as well for my extraordinary work at my school, and I have the WWE to thank for a lot of that. If it wasn’t for WWE, I don’t think I would have the rapport I have had with my students all of these years.

Thanks again for emailing with me, posting my article earlier this year and sending me all of the be a STAR information. You have been more than gracious. 

Thank you,

Paul Wulff

High School Intervention Specialist

Ohio Virtual Academy

*

A New Jersey-based writer tells Teachers’ Corner how WWE has influenced his career in journalism:

Hi. My name is Steve Urena and I am currently a 22-year-old journalist based out of New Jersey. I am writing you because I saw your Teachers’ Corner about how WWE inspired kids in schools. Well, WWE inspired me as well … I have been interviewing wrestlers and personalities since I was 15 years old. I wanted to wrestle, but my parents were concerned about my safety. Instead, I went the Bobby Heenan route and ended up becoming a journalist. I would go to wrestling shows in my area and would help out at local shows. WWE's influence helped that.

I have interviewed WWE Legends and current WWE Superstars. WWE helped me get into college and pursue my career in writing. I hope one day to end up in WWE, either on screen or behind the scenes … I now write for WRNJ Radio, The Newark Bears, The New Jersey Herald, The Black River News, and soon, The Daily Record.

Thanks,

Steve Urena

*

For more information about National Teacher Day and Teacher Appreciation Week, visit the National Education Association at nea.org. Are you an educator with a story you want to share with WWE.com's Teachers' Corner? E-mail us.

View Comments

ArticlesYou May Also Like