This morning on the way to school, when I fell in behind a steady, seemingly safe driver and stayed with him for nearly thirty minutes, it brought to mind the occasional advantages of following, both on the interstate and in my classes. Staying behind this driver today made it easy for me to relax and enjoy the drive, just as following my directions on an assignment may allow my students to loosen up somewhat and perhaps actually get some pleasure from an assignment. If they’re following me on the path I set out for them, the writing or reading could resemble a leisurely trip down the highway for them – turning, so to speak, when I turn, braking when I brake, and sitting back and settling in for a reasonably stress-free journey. Does it mean the students can’t be as creative as they might, since they’re following me instead of striking out on their own special writing and reading roads? Well, perhaps, but isn’t efficiency just as important as creativity? Isn’t getting a job done smoothly and correctly as valuable as getting it done with zest and gusto?
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