Day 65, Monday, December 15, 2008
Feeling sick, I went home after my second period class today, but before I left I saw excellent leadership exhibited by my students. I explained to the 8th graders that I wasn’t feeling well, and I asked the designated ‘teacher’s assistant’ to take on the heavy responsibility of basically running the class. I had made a detailed lesson plan, and I hoped the TA would be able take the class through the steps of the lesson while I sat in one of the ‘comfy chairs’ and observed and occasionally commented. It worked better than I could have imagined. The TAs in both classes took on the duty with dignity and poise. They seemed to stand straighter and speak more purposefully than usual. Their voices contained youthful strength and a trusting kind of wisdom. I sat back in the comfortable chair, listening and feeling grateful that these 13-year-olds were willing to step up and carry the learning forward.