While I’ve only seen my Monday/hybrid kids once so far, my distinct impression of them is that they are a good bunch of kids. No one gave me that “uh-oh” feeling (you teachers out there know what I’m talking about – you can just tell the kids who are going to present, shall we say, consistent challenges) and, in fact, a couple of students radiated some really good vibes. Now, their homework deadline isn’t until Saturday at six p.m.,* so I don’t yet have an idea of how compliant they might be compared to last term’s hybrid, but I’m holding out optimistic hope.
My Tuesday/Thursday group is GREAT! We had a fantastic class on Tuesday, and today’s meeting was even better. While I was missing a lot of kids (only 17 of 27 showed up), we still managed to have a couple of really fruitful and dynamic conversations. I’m really loving that there are only a few – two or three at the most – who are reluctant to just chime in with the answer to a question; instead of having to call on people and dragging answers out of them, I had to direct conversational traffic because too many people were talking at once. I love it when that happens because, while I’m not afraid of silence and will stand there for FAR longer than students are comfortable waiting for an answer, I much prefer having to referee conversations than listening for crickets.
I’m also loving how neatly the planets aligned for me this term in that Don Imus got himself fired over remarks he made about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. All of this is happening JUST as we’re having class discussions about cultural diversity, sensitivity and freedom of speech in the public forum. We had a lively discussion this morning about Mr. Imus’ behavior (and the behavior of those who are reacting to it) and I’m betting that the students got a lot of useful thinking out of that conversation. These kids were willing to think, willing to challenge each other, and willing to concede that there may not be a “right” answer. It was exhilarating.
I love my job.
*for those of you keeping track, this term’s deadline was moved up because I have to post attendance on Saturday. I was supposed to post attendance on Saturday LAST term, too, but I gave my kids the Sunday deadline before I was aware of this. I HATE going back on my word to students, so I took the little, red, “your attendance is late” notices so they could have the extra 24 hours….