ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 102, Thursday, February 21, 2008
It came forcibly home to me today, as it often has, that I am too much the center of attention in my classes. When speaking, the students are almost always looking at me, rarely at each other. If I somehow diagrammed the conversations in my room, all the arrows would point from my students to me, rarely from my students to each other. I especially noticed that today, because I was hoping to observe the class as a whole during our discussion, but I couldn't, because each speaker was speaking to me, and I felt like I had to give the speaker my full attention.
Somehow I have to work on developing a greater sense in my students of speaking to each other. Perhaps I should occasionally say, "I don't want anyone to look at me during this discussion. Please look at your classmates. Forget I'm here." That would allow me to roam around the circle, observing discussion behavior and getting a feel for the conduct of the class as a whole.