Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"New Every Morning", oil on stretched canvas, by Nel Jansen

Teaching Journal

Day 78, Tuesday, January 20, 2009


     Because I was putting things away after the 9th grade speech, I came to my first period class a few minutes late, but not to worry – the students were talking quietly when I walked in, and they quickly settled into their books for the usual few minutes of silent reading at the start of class. I always find this astonishing and very gratifying – that these boys and girls are so politely attentive to my expectations. They know I expect them to behave like civil and serious students, and therefore they do. There’s no badgering or commanding involved, because it’s not necessary. More than sufficient, I’ve found, is my solemn expectation, often communicated without the use of words, that the students will do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. They know I expect it of them, and I think they’re glad that I expect it. It makes them feel uncommon and worthy of attention – which they are.   

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