Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ruth Cole, "Country Village Landscape"


Day 9, September 14, 2007

I guess every teacher has to deal with the tendency to focus more on the content of his curriculum than on his individual students. After all, it's much easier to work step by step through a lesson plan than to pay close attention to the individual lives of 12 students. Lesson plans are orderly and understandable, whereas students, like all human beings, are enigmatic and ultimately unfathomable. What I notice in my teaching, already this year, is that I'm once again being more attentive to my systematic, detailed lessons than to the individual students sitting in front of me. I don't like to admit that, but it's the truth. If you asked me after a class what a particular student was wearing or what expression she had on her face, I probably wouldn't have a clue. I was too busy teaching my curriculum. That's strange and sad.

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I can't imagine having more respectful students than those at Pine Point. In my classes, the students make me feel like an important dignitary. (Does my advanced age have something to do with that??) They are cordial, kind, and always courteous. Anyone would be extremely fortunate to spend four class periods each day with such considerate children.

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The break times during class are becoming very revealing for me. Today, while the other kids were relaxing outside, one girl sat at the table with a downcast expression. When I asked her if she was all right, I could see that she was on the edge of tears. I just nodded, and smiled, and stayed quiet.

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