ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 39, Wednesday, October 31
Yesterday was a bit of a roller coaster for me -- one great class, then a dud, then a fairly fruitful class, then a class productive only of inattention and ennui. It's strange how that often happens. Teaching, I guess, is a lot like the weather: you never know what you'll get one day to the next, one hour to the next. No matter how carefully I plan my lessons, some odd "weather" occasionally blows in to alter the lesson, sometimes quite dramatically. In that sense, teaching teenagers is like trying to control the weather: an interesting project, definitely challenging and great fun, but ultimately exasperating. Yesterday, for instance, I used the same lesson plan for both sections of 8th grade, but the results were as different as sunny and stormy days -- and I have no idea why. One class was quietly productive, while the other class seemed halting and ineffective, just like a bright morning might be followed by a rainy afternoon. I have to simply accept what the weather gives me, and I guess I have to do the same in my teaching. All I can do is plan my lessons with as much circumspection and thoroughness as possible, and then hope for "good weather" during class.