Monday, January 24, 2005

Daily Brightspots

It's always interesting to me to note that a large proportion of the joy of teaching comes from the brief, off the cuff encounters with the students. Right before class starts, some kid might share, "miss, you'll never BELIEVE, but I was walking across the quad and tripped and my purse fell, and now LOOK at it, it's all scuffed", or as you're shuttling your class down the halls to the computer lab a student from last year might remark, "are you going on a math field trip?", or after class ends, one of your supremely awesome, polite, sweet, nice kids may come up to you and ask about your weekend and then share that they had a great one because, "I drove for the first time with my friend and we got to go see a great play", or a student from last year that does NOT have you this year, yet always stops by to chat and share your tea might check in to see if you have another flavor of tea because, "I don't want to be rude, but your current flavor is not my favorite".

Don't get me wrong. I love the actual (whatever that means) teaching part of getting it just right with the mixture of learning and practicing and "fun". I guess that's why they keep churning out those articles about how you have to connect with your students and show an interest and ask them questions and such. ... It seems like they leave something out, though. You can't just fake it. I'm wondering if there are some teachers that read those articles and don't "get it" .... if they say, "oh, okay, tomorrow I'll ask Johnny/Susie about their weekend" ... and maybe while they're doing that, their mind is on other things, so it comes off as disingenuous. Who knows. I just know that I'll have to (going yoga here) be in the moment and realize as these events are occurring, that I'm actually enjoying them and make sure to cherish the moments.

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