Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Day 87, January 29, 2008

I realized today that our 'breaks' during class give me a good opportunity to talk informally with students. We took a five minute break at the end of one class, during which I was able to pay some compliments to three students. I called them over to where I was sitting and told them quietly that I admired their work during class, and then I gave them each a special sticker. Without the break, I would have had to do this very quickly and briefly, with much less of a personal touch.


In some of the classes today, I was initially disappointed by the lack of participation in our discussion of Our Town. However, as I was beginning to feel a bit discouraged about how things were going, I suddenly realized that some of the kids were participating quite energetically. While I had been focusing on the quiet, unresponsive students, I had failed to notice the active and involved ones. Margaret was one of these. She was thoroughly enjoying herself as she shared one intelligent comment after another about last night's reading assignment. She made sagacious connections between the play and other readings, and she built upon the comments of others. Mayzie also was attentive throughout the discussion and made several very intelligent comments. In a 9th grade class, Jonathan and Salina were the stars. They continually added their insights to the discussion, and I think they grew more and more proud of themselves as the minutes passed. Yes, many (most?) of the students were fairly detached and disinterested today, but luckily that didn't prevent me from noticing the enthusiastic participation by a few of them.

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