Saturday, June 05, 2010

Weorthscipe in Room 2

A few days ago, I mentioned in a post that I don’t attend church on Sundays but that perhaps my classroom is my church, and this morning I’ve decided, after doing some dictionary work, that it could be correctly said that I worship in my classroom. The word “worship” comes from the Old English word "weorthscipe", or "worthship". Just as we have seamanship and scholarship, the early English speakers had worthship – the quality of being worth something, or worthy. A place of worship, then, was simply a place of worth, or a worthy place, and my classroom hopefully fits that description. In a given year, each of my students spends about 160 hours in my classroom, so it sure better be a place of worth – a place where worthy activities take place. Each lesson I teach should have a specific and measurable value for the students, and each student should take away an appreciable profit from every class. I might put it this way: the students and their parents should get their money’s worth from my English class. If I’m a tolerable teacher – if I provide lessons of some value and consequence for my students – then I can truly think of my classroom as a place of worship, or worthship. It’s a room that’s worth something. It’s a worthwhile place for my students and me to be. It’s worth entering each day. The demanding work is worth it, which is why I insist that the students always work for all they are worth when they are in this place of worship called Room 2.

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