Thursday, April 10, 2008


Day 126, April 10, 2008

I substituted for a math teacher today, and the students spent most of the time working quietly on some exercises she had left for them. As I graded student essays at her desk, I occasionally looked around at the students as they labored on the assignment. The room was almost completely silent, save for the movement of pencils and the shifting of papers. The children seemed completely calm and comfortable as they worked. I'm sure there was some occasional stress in their minds as they tried to solve the assigned math problems, but it was probably a harmless kind of stress, sort of like we feel as we're working a crossword puzzle. It got me thinking about English class, and whether I could have my students do more of this kind of intense, but serene and solitary, work during class. The math students looked so peaceful and stress-free as they worked, and, most importantly, there was no sign of boredom on their faces -- which I often see on my students' faces. The kids were absorbed in their labor, which I would love to see more of in my classes.

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