Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Teaching Journal
Day 71, Wednesday, January 7, 2009

As much as I try to maintain a quiet classroom, a place where ‘noise’ is relatively absent, I realize that I can’t control the inner noise the students might be experiencing. Who knows what mental turmoil is occurring inside these kids as they sit through my classes. I sometimes picture them as little planet earths, with their own teenage lava boiling around under the surface. They might be sitting silently and placidly in front of me, but there might not be any silence and serenity deep down inside. There’s not much I can do about this, except to realize it, accept it, and keep it in mind as I go about the business of teaching them. Of course, I can continue to maintain a tranquil and industrious atmosphere in the classroom, which may help settle some of the inner racket the scholars might be experiencing. No matter how frantic we're feeling, I think all of us react well to a little order and tranquility.
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Since the morning classes were shortened to 30 minutes due to a weather delay, I wasn’t expecting much productivity, but I was greatly mistaken in that assumption. For some inexplicable reason, they were among the most rewarding classes of the year, at least for me. The students were attentive and actively involved, and the lessons I had prepared, though abridged, were carried out with a reasonable measure of thoroughness. Somehow, in just 30 minutes we seemed to cover more material, and more comprehensively, than we normally do in a full 48 minute class. Now, three hours later, I’m still rather dumbfounded by that.

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