Thursday, October 09, 2008

Teaching Journal 08-09
Day 23, Thursday, October 9

This morning I noticed that two 9th grade girls came early for class, and, while they were waiting, set up all the chairs around the tables. It was just a small act, but a kindhearted one, I thought. They didn't have to do it. They could have spent time with each other or with their own thoughts, just passing the time in a private way until class started. Instead, they spent a few minutes unloading chairs from the stacks and placing them where they belonged. They generously came to the aid of someone else (me) -- quite a dignified way to start English class.
In several classes today, it seemed to me that the scholars took a particular pleasure in their 7 minutes of silent reading at the beginning of class. (We do that in every class.) They became quiet fairly quickly and before a small amount of time had passed, the room was utterly silent except for the turning of pages and the sipping of ice water. Perhaps the students have grown to cherish this brief time of stillness and peace. For a few minutes, they are lost in stories and free from cares.

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