Friday, April 24, 2009

"Apple Slice", oil on masonite, by Jeff Mahorney

Teaching Journal

Day 129, Thursday, April 23, 2009


     For a long time I’ve known that scholars learn better, and teachers teach better, when they’re happy, and that truth came home to me again today. I hope that there is always a relaxed and cheerful feeling in my classes, but today there seemed to be an extra amount of jollity in the room. The kids were dignified and attentive, as I insist they be, but they were also full of delight. There were bursts of giggles now and then about something in the lesson, and even I got caught up in some harmless folly now and then. For instance, I got sidetracked (which almost never happens to me) and told an utterly ridiculous and irrelevant story about something that happened years ago. I also joked around with the scholars more than I usually do, probably wasting some precious time in the process, but also probably making it a bit easier for the kids to relax and take in what I was trying to teach them. What was the cause of this unusual cheeriness? Was it the feel of spring in the air? Was it the fact that the happiest day of the school year – Grandparents’ Day – is tomorrow? Or was it just our natural joyfulness impulsively bursting forth? Who knows? What is certain is that it was a day of pure exuberance – and fairly good teaching and learning. 

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