ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 59, December 3, 2007
This morning I had a very relaxed feeling during my classes, as though the classes were sort of running themselves and I was just along for the ride. That feeling (and it's a very satisfying one) comes to me every now and again from who knows where. It's the feeling that everything is just fine, that whatever I say is just right, that the kids are learning just what they need to learn. When I have that kind of feeling, there's no rushing, no worrying, no second-guessing. Like a smooth-sailing ship, the lesson drives itself and I simply relax and take in the view. That was the way it was this morning, for the first two periods. Lucky me.
* * * * *
Later, in a 9th grade class, the "assistant teacher", who is Jimmy this week, was leading a discussion of a paragraph written by an 8th grader, when Stan made a very perceptive comment. I don't have his exact words, but he said something like, "I think the writer would have a better topic sentence if she used an appositive [which we had studied last week] after the word 'town'."
It was an astute -- and correct -- suggestion from a student who continues to come into his own as a high school reader and writer.
* * * * *
In the other 9th grade class, Forrest made an impressive debut as the assistant teacher. He sat at my place with dignity and poise, and he led the class through an orderly, intelligent discussion. He was obviously proud of his role as a "teacher" and was taking it very seriously. It promises to be a rewarding week for him.