I Love My Job

Kids, I think it’s going to be a GOOD term!

I’ve got two very small classes this go-around: I meet with 13 kids first thing for a composition class, then with 8 for a literature class every Tuesday and Thursday.  As best I can tell from the two times we’ve met thus far, every single one of my kids is, to a greater or lesser degree, engaged and attentive.

What I’m saying here is that I don’t anticipate having a “problem child” this term.  No Megadeth Daves, no Henrys (would that be “Henries”?  I don’t know…) I’m not sure I believe it…

I have a student in my comp. class, whom I’ve worked with before, who is a delightful pain in the ass, but he’s the kind of trouble that I LIKE to deal with – he’s smart and funny and charming, and he uses that smart and funny charming to try to resist doing the work he’s being asked to do.  I’m finding, though, that I’m gaining the experience and creativity I need to engage students like him, and I’m looking forward to his helping me create an atmosphere of playfulness in that group that I think we need.

My literature class is already amazing.  We started out by reading Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” out loud in class, and I’m absolutely giddy about how well the kids are analyzing on the fly.  At one point, Serena – a brilliant (but shy and quiet) girl I’ve had the pleasure of working with before – actually stopped the reading of another student to say “WAIT a minute!  Did she just say what I THINK she just said?!” which led us into a gorgeous conversation – yes, a CONVERSATION, among all the students – about the scene and its implications.  I love this class already.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that true learning only comes from adversity and hardship.  I don’t buy that – I think that a lot of really valuable learning can come from cooperation and good times, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what wonderful things my students – and I – learn this term.

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6 Comments

Filed under fun, Learning, Literature, reading, success!, Teaching, the good ones

6 responses to “I Love My Job

  1. nhfalcon

    Any term without Henry is a good term.

    Forgive me for asking the stupid question, but he DID fail, right?

    If I may be allowed to blow my own horn for a moment, I got a really nice compliment last night from one of my former students from my internship. He popped by the jewelry store last night, and when I mentioned that I’d be back at the school to be a substitute a couple of days a week he said “Do you know how many people are going to be insanely happy to hear that?”

    Wow, I didn’t think I made THAT good of an impression while I was there.

  2. YAY for you!!

    Yes, Henry did fail. Sadly, though, he’s in my friend’s public speaking class and, two days into the term, he’s already making her crazy. She’s planning on having a “come to Jesus” meeting with him on Tuesday (if the administration doesn’t get to him first – I was having a conversation with the Dean of Students yesterday about him, and she’s planning on an intervention with him, as well).

    I doubt that either woman will get through to him – I think he’s a kid who will have to hit some variation or rock bottom before he figures any of this shit out…

  3. sphyrnatude

    I love the “cooperation and good times” part. Learning can com ethe hard (unpleasant) way, but I have found that a good cooperative effort is much better. It does take a group of people (both teacherrs and students) that can have a discussion without getting offended though – a level of maturity that is missing from many students and teachers….

    Glad to hear you have a good set this term!

  4. You can’t just tell that story about Serena and not tell me at what point in the play she said it!

  5. I am burning out here. Our dean would not support us like that. The admin is coming down with this student as customer attitude. Not going into details,but suffice it to say, I don’t know how much longer I can drudge along in this atmosphere! And the distance classes are 50% of my problem. I didn’t leave private sector to teach so that I to talk to no one… Sorry! I think I need some extra sleep this weekend.

    I am so happy to hear that you are happy and that you have the backing of good leaders. 🙂

  6. Xena

    Hey, this is the teacher that inherited Henry and the ‘come to Jesus’ meeting happens this week. I’ve had this person in my class before and he barely made it, simply because I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Now, we’re talking a year later and Henry still does not get it. It’s time to chat with Xena!

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