Monday, September 14, 2009


Since most of my students probably haven’t yet experienced the multitudinous rewards of patience, I might tell them the story of my new cell phone and what I learned from it. I have never been a particularly patient person, and thus a new gadget often frustrates me as I fly through the directions and try to quickly learn how to use it. I usually end up utterly befuddled, and the gadget often ends up resting idle on the shelf. Since I was not patient enough to slowly study and master the directions, I missed out on an opportunity to enjoy what was probably a valuable new device. However, I surprised myself by the patient manner in which I dealt with the new phone. I actually sat at my desk and went through the directions step by step, scrutinizing each one and trying it out on the phone. I labored over those directions for perhaps 45 full minutes, surely some kind of record for me. I guess I was determined to come to a complete understanding of how the phone worked – and I did. I started using the phone later that same day with utter confidence and effortlessness, pushing buttons with self-assurance as I called various people just for the pleasure of doing it. The point I will make to my scholars is that patience opened the door to my success, and it can also be the key to their success in my class. Reading directions can’t be rushed, and neither can school work. Only by doing a task with attentiveness and staying power can we harvest its full rewards, as I found out with my new phone. By being patient, I learned how to be a skillful cell phone user, and the students can similarly learn how to be English experts in my classroom.

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