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Periphery

a record of mundane things that have stuck in my mind, and what they may mean.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Harvest Home

June brings energy and reflection. The kids empty out of the school, and teachers seeing and knowing that they won't be seeing some of them, and never on the same basis, look hard and etch in their minds all the beauty and the lessons of youth.

It's a strange feeling. All year, I've had troubles with students. I've at some points had no desire to do my job well. But yet at the end, there's so much goodness in each of my students. All their rude words, their sloppiness and sarcasm still doesn't outweigh their goodness--their fitra.

We reflect throughout the year, but looking at rooms just emptied, with all the signs of students still present--The books and bulletin boards and desks and farewell messages on the chalk board--it's so much easier to understand where we were right, where we actually made a difference, and where we took regretful actions.

The absolute best lessons this year were with my 9th grade girls. We did Question-Hypothesis-Question discussions. I think the whole exercise was based on a sound framework. Literature is meant to be open-ended. The point is to engage. I wasn't allowing my students to engage when I was essentially teaching them how to play detective; detective of my interpretation. Q-H-Q's allowed them to explore their ideas and reactions.

And the poetry lessons were great too. I liked our method: read, re-read, look up words, re-read, determine speaker, ask questions, draw conclusions.

But at the end of year, as all those youthful faces become apparitions, every face and every mind becomes meaningful. And as difficult as it is to see that we sowed knowledge and inspiration in the lush fields of their minds and souls, at the end of year--a sort of harvest home--it's much easier to hope that soon we'll have so much more to admire them for.

I wrote different messages to each of my students this year. But in all of them, I tried to explain why each one of them has important talents that their community needs; I felt perfectly honest when I wrote that because it is what I see in them.

1 Comments:

At 8:30 PM, Anonymous said...

I don't like you very much. I see and hear all the rude words, sloppiness, and sarcasm in you too--but I catch only glimpses of the goodness. It must be there though since onlyl a good mind can write "I wasn't allowing my students to engage when I was essentially teaching them how to play detective; detective of my interpretation."

And only a earnest heart: "But at the end of year, as all those youthful faces become apparitions, every face and every mind becomes meaningful."

--mujahida

 

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