In my fairly long drive to school each morning, I am joined on the roads by both speeders and drifters, the same kinds of travelers I see in my classroom each day – and there’s surely room for both. On the interstate and back roads, some drivers obviously like the graceful feelings that come with cruising along at lightning speeds, while others employ – and take pleasure in -- the slow pace of clouds coming and going down the roads of the sky. I used to get exasperated with both sets of drivers – the speeders for recklessly governing the roads with their speed, the drifters for doing everything possible to prevent me from getting where I’m going – but now I see a proper place for both. As long as they are law-abiding, both groups of drivers deserve their place on the highways, and the same is true of the speeders and drifters in English class. Some of my students can cruise through assignments effortlessly, like the guys in the get-up-and-go cars that race past me, but other kids carry their thoughts like heavy weights and work longer minutes and hours than the speeders – but both can bring a lot of light to my classes. In my teaching, there’s a necessary place for all kinds of students – the sharp and the stumbling, the fast and the unsure – just as there’s the right place on the roads for those who rush and those who roll slowly along.
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