Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Teaching Journal 08-09
Day 17
September 30

Today I want to be an inviting teacher. I want to continually ask for the participation of the students -- to cordially request their intelligent input as the class progresses. I don’t have to literally ask them – just let them know by my hospitable manner that any contribution they can make would be appreciated. I might also, now and then, extend a more formal invitation – as in “Won’t you have a seat” – and then showing the student to a chair. This kind of hospitality seems more and more rare these days, but perhaps I can restore a bit of its prestige in my classroom.
In the first 9th grade class, I started to panic early on when it appeared that I was falling behind in my plans for the class. I had taken an extra-long time to complete the first part of the lesson, and a familiar and dangerous thought occurred to me – that I would have to rush through the rest of the plan. However, fortunately, the thought disappeared as fast as it appeared, and I simply continued working through the sequential steps, one at a time. It surprised me at the end of the class to realize that, in fact, I had managed to complete the entire lesson plan quite thoroughly. I guess my refusal to give in to the old temptation to panic, as well as my humble acceptance of how the lesson was going when I fell behind, helped me be a better teacher.

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