Day 29, October 17, 2007
Today I was once again fairly successful in observing and taking notes on eight students, and it made me realize, about half way through the day, that my attention to those students seemed to be making them better students. As strange as it sounds, the fact that I was focusing on them, looking for good things to record about them, appeared to magically elevate them to an unusually high level of English work. Almost all of the eight students participated actively, above and beyond their normal level, and many of them actually were the stars of the class.
Here are some examples:
Jimmie came briskly into the classroom and proudly showed me his homework, which had not been very good the day before. He also participated enthusiastically in our discussion of Ch. 9 of Great Expectations.
Barb was excited about the GE chapter, and worked very diligently on the "letter to herself", which we wrote during class. (This is a brief letter the students write to themselves after getting graded papers back, detailing three weaknesses they need to work on for their next assignment.)
Warren, who has been very quiet in most of the classes, raised his hand twice and made thoughtful comments about the novel.
Denise, too, was a bright star. Normally she's a bit reticent, but today she practically led the entire discussion in her class.