Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Teaching Journal
Day 66, Tuesday, December 16, 2008

During quiet reading time, I noticed a small commotion behind me in the area where the server prepares refreshments for the scholars.
  For a moment (for some unfathomable reason) I thought about reprimanding them for being noisy, but instead (thankfully) I just listened. CM Soon it became clear that the ‘commotion’ was the rustling of paper towels as the server and two classmates tried to clean up a spill. As I listened, I could tell that they were trying their best to be extremely quiet. It became obvious that what I was going to reprimand was actually an act of courtesy and good manners. Three people (two of whom apparently jumped in voluntarily to help the server with the cleanup) were truly ‘serving’ the rest of us by allowing us to read in peace while they took care of the problem. I grew more admiring as the seconds passed. When the workers finally sat in their places and opened their books to read, I took a breath and smiled. I felt like I had just witnessed something extraordinary.
A few wandering flakes of snow passed my windows during one of the classes, which caused an immediate eruption of enthusiasm. I was talking, at the time, about how to use participles in writing, but that topic instantly paled in the light of these softly descending flakes. There was a small hullabaloo for a few moments, including this happy shout: “It’s a hailish kind of snow!” We did get back to discussing participles, but I’m fairly sure they are not what the students will most remember about today’s class.

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