Part 2 : One of Those Teachers
As I counted the number of copies of the stories and reader-response guides for the tenth time, I closed my eyes and envisioned it all coming together: today my students would read the story, completing the guide as they read. Then tomorrow we’d go to the computer lab to turn those mini essays in to rough drafts. The third day would be spent editing and revising. On Friday I would organize the desks into a large circle and have the students share their essays, just like we had done in my college fundamentals classes. Then I would have the weekend to comment on their essays before returning them on Monday. Not bad for the first week of school. I could just see it all coming together . . . then the first period bell rang.
Students entered the room in small groups. They seemed a little thrown off by the desks being in clusters instead of rows, but they all found a spot. As soon as the final bell rang, I dispersed the photocopies of the story and the reading guide.
“Aren’t we going to go over the rules?” asked a girl seated in the cluster at the front of the room.
“We will. But that’s boring,” I said, eager to see their shock at my unconventional approach. They stared at me.
“What is your grading scale?” asked another girl, who just happened to be sitting right next to the girl who asked the first question.
“Ah, we will go over that later too,” I said. “I want us to jump right in to a really great story that I know you are going to love. ” With that I said their first assignment was on the board, and I turned them loose to read and work and - hopefully - be as blown away by the tale as I was.
Was I wrong.