ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 75, January 9, 2008
Today I gave a little more responsibility to the student "assistant teachers". Since we've established a regular routine for English class, I thought the kids might be able to actually "run" most of the class, except, of course, for the actual lesson that I would teach. We tried it today, and I was pleased with the results. Most of the student-teachers looked like they were proud to be guiding the class through the daily plan. They sat at my desk with a certain dignity and poise; one girl, in particular, spoke with utter gravity and sophistication, as if she's been teaching for years. The other students in the classes also enjoyed the experience, I think. It was something different, something other than Mr. Salsich talking and the kids trying their best to listen. In their long and often tedious day at school, the students can find rich benefits in any break in the usual customary way of doing things.
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A student came to me before class and quietly informed me that he did not have his homework ready. As I've asked the students to do, he spoke firmly and sincerely, and did not make excuses. I looked at him for a moment (hopefully with a gentle expression), and quietly said, "Thank you for telling me. I will make a note of it. I am sure you will learn from this mistake." Finally, after all these years, I think I've learned how to respond when students make a mistake.