ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 100, Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Today I started each class with a brief (30 second) comment about my 'aspirations' for the class period. I recently read about a teacher who did this. Each day, she always told her students what her hopes for each class period were-- not her academic goals or plans, but her hopes that something in the class would bring her students happiness and peace. I liked that, so I gave it a try today. At the start of class, I gently tapped on a chime and the students quickly grew quiet. I then told them that I hoped something in the class would bring happiness or peace to them, either immediately or sometime in the future. And then we proceeded on to the work of the day. At the end of each class, I did something similar. I tapped on the chime again and expressed the hope that any good that came from the preceding 45 minutes might eventually spread out to bring happiness to other people.
By doing these brief 'ceremonies' (about 30 seconds each), I guess I wanted to give the kids the feeling that I consider myself not just a teacher of English, but a spreader of good will. I guess I wanted to help them feel that what we do in Room 2 for 48 minutes each day is way more important than commas and literary terms. It has to do with goodness as much as with novels and essays.
I may continue this way of opening and closing class. It seemed to work well.
Today I was a patient teacher. I got behind in almost all of my classes, but I just took some deep breaths and kept quietly following the 'river' of my lesson plans. It's a good way to teach.