ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 120, April 2, 2008
It continues to be interesting to me that I often completely forget to follow the steps in my lessons. I’m not sure why, but as soon as the students arrive I often lose track of the specific steps in the lesson, and instead, sort of ‘bounce’ through the lesson, hitting some steps and completely ignoring others. I think I manage to teach the main concepts of the lessons, but it’s strange – and unfortunate – that I sometimes don’t methodically cover each of the separate steps. What’s especially interesting is that, if my students behaved this way on their English assignments, I would come down hard on their grades. If a student, for instance, skipped steps 3, 5, and 7 in an assignment, it would be hard for them to receive a good – or even passing – grade. I would feel that they didn’t complete the assignment in a methodical and thorough manner – and I would be right. I have to apply the same standard to myself. If I can’t do each lesson in a systematic, disciplined manner, then I shouldn’t get a passing grade.
Some of the 8th graders came to class with excellent homework assignments, but I’m not sure I gave them enough positive feedback – enough ‘strokes’, as we used to say back in the 70’s. I need to remember to walk around the room and carefully check the homework, offering honest and specific praise where it is due. When students work hard at home at night, they are hoping the teacher will notice their accomplishments the next day in class. I don’t think I did that today.