ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 103, Monday, February 25, 2008
During both 9th grade classes today, there was an obvious look of exhaustion on the students' faces as we worked our way through a scene from Macbeth. As tired as they appeared, it's debatable whether any of them took anything valuable away from the class. If someone asked them this evening what they remembered about English class today, they might be hard pressed to recall a single moment of it. This kind of situation could produce many different feelings in a teacher, from discouragement to anger to resignation. Oddly, I am left mostly with a feeling of acceptance. The drowsiness of the students happened. It was a fact, it's over with, and I can't do anything to change it. I have no reasonable choice but to accept it and, as they say, 'move on'. It reminds me of one of my favorite analogies for teaching -- the weather. One day is gloomy with rain, the next is radiant and refreshing, and all I can do is receive both days with acknowledgement and acquiescence. Ranting, getting despondent, and sinking into disappointment or annoyance is fruitless behavior. The weather is what it is, and so are my students. Today was 'sleepy time' in Room 2, but tomorrow may see the sunshine of enthusiasm shining around the table.