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.