Teachers' Corner: Teacher finds WWE to be an "Awesome" teaching tool
Corinne P. is a special education teacher in Queens, N.Y. She shares her experiences using WWE as a teaching tool in her classroom.
My name is Corinne and I am a Special Education teacher in Queens, N.Y. I have been using WWE in my classroom for the past three years. When I first got to my school, I was only a second-year teacher with limited experience in working with students with disabilities. I walked into a classroom of six boys and two girls who were all taller than me and had lost their desire to learn. mOnce I started building a trust and community in my class, they started to open up.
I kept hearing the same phrases -- "Did you see RAW? The 619 was awesome! I love John Cena!" I had to ask my husband, who is a loyal wrestling fan, what these kids were talking about. He was kind enough to introduce me to the world of wrestling. I started to realize that literature and wrestling weren't so different. You have a storyline, characters, a setting, climax and an ending.
I also realized that talking about wrestling can develop communication skills for these students who are often speech impaired or labeled as ELL's (English Language Learners). It can also develop an interest in reading.
I started to buy the WWE Kids magazine and allow my students to read the stories and view the pictures during their "choice" reading time. I also started to allow them to talk about story lines and even have a WWE update on Monday after our morning routine to catch up the students who might have missed Friday Night SmackDown due to a note home or phone call from their teacher (me). The students used listening skills to help with comprehension, and they eventually moved on to sixth grade in June.
Now I teach first grade, and WWE continues to allow my students to open up and work on their communication skills with each other. I have some new additions to my class. One is a little boy who is very quiet and timid. He had never uttered a word in English or Spanish until two weeks ago. We were working on learning our spelling words when I took out the Play-Doh and began to mold letters. All of a sudden I heard a big voice say "AWE-SOOOOME" with his hand in a fist in the air. It was my shy little student who I thought couldn't speak. He had a grin from ear to ear. When I said, "Ok, no hay un Miz en esta clase," he started laughing uncontrollably and lifted up his uniform shirt to reveal his John Cena T-shirt. He continues to come out of his shell, but one thing is certain; whenever something is "AWE-SOOOME!" I am told by him and the others. They all like to come in to class and show me their new lunch box or T-shirt of their favorite wrestler. They tell me how Dad let them stay up a little later on Friday night to watch WWE and they were able to laugh together. We work on re-telling stories, expression of feelings, and the kids seem to enjoy it all.
I would like to thank WWE for helping me, especially that first year, and for continuing to put on a great show that can be enjoyed all!