Saturday, May 17, 2008

I is for Inviting

As a teacher, I must, above all, be an inviting person. Like a congenial host, I must invite my students to take part in the learning that’s available in my classroom, must ask them for their presence and participation. This is far different from demanding or requiring, which is the mindset that I’ve often adopted in the past. Rather than making demands of his guests, a good host politely invites, and so does the good teacher. There should, I think, be a certain formality in this invitation. I should consider my students to be guests at a ceremonial occasion, a proper and decorous meeting of minds. When they enter my classroom, I should graciously invite them to be seated the way I would if I were providing an elegant meal. I should remember, too, to be encouraging in my invitations. Like shy guests, some of my students may be hesitant to contribute to the class activities, and I need to offer support by gently cheering them on. I need to continually invite them to share in the feast of learning that English class (hopefully) offers.

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