Conversations with My Students: The Prequel #SOL18

March 24, 2018

Right, so, Wednesday was also a good teaching day, but I got so distracted by the donuts that I didn’t talk about it.

First, we did an awesome self-annotation assignment that I stole from KO. My students were thoroughly engaged. The reflection question was “If you had 48 hours, what would would you change about your draft?” and they all answered, “I would fix it.”

A couple of students tweeted that it helped them a lot (although one said it reminded her of her high school class that she hated–sigh, you can’t win them all), so I am calling that a success.

I had a funny exchange with one of my students in the 7 a.m. class that I don’t remember entirely but basically ended with me saying that we were clearly misunderstanding each other and that our morning had been a comedy routine.

In the 9:15 class, I got the opportunity to share with them what a mature adult I am because one student asked me to look at her draft that referenced mayo. This same student got very excited during the self-annotation assignment because she recognized something major about her paper.

Also, since we could not move out of the noisy classroom because of a schedule overlap, we were of course serenaded by the cacophony of sounds coming from the welding class. (As an aside, my coworker who teaches machine shop gave me a hot tip for helping to curb the noise, so I’ll get to try that on Monday.) During a moment of relative quiet, I had to move the wheeled desk chair from one side of the room to the other. It was so loud that I just looked at the class and said, “I’m now part of the problem.”

I have assigned Station Eleven to my comp class, and their tweets about it have been hilarious because they all basically say, “I can’t believe I actually like this book” or “Wow, this book is actually good.”

I mentioned this to a coworker, and he pointed out that they have mostly been assigned books they hate in high school, so it’s not surprising that they’re surprised they enjoy an assigned book for school. Which is just infinitely sad but also probably true.

The true highlight of the day came when a student came by the office for me to look at her draft. It was a mess, so I asked her what she was trying to say and as she was talking I outlined what she said on the back of her paper. Then, I read back to her what I had. She said, “Yes, that’s exactly what I was trying to say. You got it.” And I pointed out to her that it was everything she had just told me. (We also talked about books since she’s trying to get her little brother to read actual books. I recommended the Percy Jackson series–mostly for the trickery that is Riordan having so many other books that may also engage her brother.)

She came to see me today with her revised draft, and our meeting was super short because–aside from editing/grammar stuff–her paper was spot on. She was shocked and happy.

So was I, tbh. Because she actually listened to me and made the changes I told her to. (This happens less often than you might think.) So all in all, it was a delightful end to my teaching week.

Slice of Life Challenge

Slice of Life is a writing challenge hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

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