Connecting with students during distance learning is difficult. You stare at a screen with all day and have almost zero interaction with kids. They don’t talk except in the chat. Even then, it’s only to ask a few questions.
Each day I ask how they are. I noticed that most of their icons or avatars were anime characters. I started asking them about anime. They were more than happy to start sharing what they knew about anime. They blossomed.
I have always watched cartoons. Batman the Animated Series. Batman and Superman Hour. Spiderman. X-Men. But I never quite got into anime beyond The Last Airbender.
I wanted to have something to talk to my kids about. They quickly shared many thoughts on what my first show I should tip my toe into the world of anime. I was hesitant. I don’t know why, but my thought would be that I wouldn’t like it.
They recommended The Promised Neverland. I told them I would watch it over the weekend.
I finished watching it mid-Saturday afternoon. It was great. I posted to Google Classroom that I had finished. I really expected them to respond but nobody posted to me about it. However, Monday in class they had a lot to say.
Many of the kids had changed their icons on the screen to characters from the show. We had a 20 minute chat about the show and what I liked and disliked about the show. They told me how much they loved the series or if they hadn’t seen it yet but looked forward to seeing it.
This also lead to a conversation about what to watch next. I now have a list of about fifteen different anime shows and movies to watch. I’m currently watching HunterxHunter. It’s definitely not as good as The Promised Neverland. When I said that today in class, I was beaten back by the students. They couldn’t believe I would say such a thing about HunterxHunter. LOL.
They are very passionate about their anime.
It reminded me of my mom. When I was little I loved the Smurfs. When I would go to Colorado for the summer, I would write my mom letters and she would write back to me. We would write about the Smurfs.
My mom would record or get up and watch this kids show so we would have something to talk about. I loved her for that. These little blue creatures meant the world to me. Just as these anime people mean the world to my students.
They know everything there is about the worlds created in every show.
Now that I’ve dipped my toes into the sea of anime, I think I will continue to watch. Not only to continue the bond with my students, but also to see what happens. I like a good story and so far anime has a good story to tell.