Sometimes Being a Teacher is the BEST Job in the World!

highres wild

                                                                                                              drawing by Alice Axelbank

Some days are simply amazing – everything seems to fall into place. Friday was such a day.

It isn’t quite something that can be explained – I strive to “push the right buttons” every day yet the outcome varies.

I’ll take the fifth period as an example, though the highlight of the day happened before that (yeah, wait for it!).

I had the two weak 10th graders, who are particularly fond of punching each other on the shoulder, working up by the white board. I wrote two sentences on the board, a sentence with each of their names (using vocabulary they need for their test) and left them to figure them out. Every five minutes or so they called me to see what they had done and give them two more sentences. They weren’t exactly quiet (and they did punch each other on the shoulder) but that didn’t bother anyone and they were working!

Meanwhile,two students were practicing their vocabulary at the Y.A.L.P word station. We discovered a new “tutor” star – seems this student is very creative at giving helpful tips to remember words! Two more students were working at the computer on their literature log (we’re learning “An Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins). The remaining three students were doing review sheets for their upcoming exam and I was moving from one to another. Kids talked and laughed but everyone was working and we got a lot done! The atmosphere was so relaxed and productive!

The highlight  of the day was when one of the ‘”problematic” 10th graders sought me out during the break. She wanted to discuss her homework, or rather lack of homework. She hasn’t done homework once since the beginning of the year even though she got several demonstrations of what to do. I even let her begin one of the tasks in class so as to get her going. Nothing.

However, I think peer pressure began to influence her. She sought ME out to discuss homework on her break! Since the class computer was hooked up to the Internet, the students can easily get as much help with their online homework as they need (either extra explanations before handing in the task or quick feedback on their work afterwards) the number of students who do homework regularly has improved dramatically. Only 5 pupils out of 59 don’t do homework!

She told me that she doesn’t have WORD on her home computer and that she can’t seem to do it at school I suggested a solution (have done this with another student and it worked really well) – I paste the task into the content space of an email and  she replies there. Still, this student has to take action first – she must send me an email!

Miracles don’t happen over night (haven’t received an email from her yet) but I feel the classroom culture has changed in regards to homework and it is such a good feeling!

12 thoughts on “Sometimes Being a Teacher is the BEST Job in the World!”

  1. Ah Chiew, it is having days like this one that let me “keep on plugging” as you say!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  2. There must be a way you could come here, visit the class, attend a conference and tour our beautiful country!
    In any case, not all days are like this!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. We’re all waiting for the email to arrive, not just you, Naomi. Say hi to her from England. I’ll have a look at her homework, I’m sure loads of us will. Imagine that! Fame!

  4. That is SO nice of you David!
    Unfortunately, today is Tuesday, the conversation was on Friday and still no email.
    not only do we still have quite a few months of this school year to go, I’ll be teaching her for the next two years as well. Gotta take the long view!
    Thanks for your support!

  5. You definitely have one of the more interesting contexts to read about (I’m not sure I could handle it as well in person). I’m glad to read that good days have come.

    1. Got to treasure the good days because they aren’t the only kind!

      Actually, I find it amazing to find that people find my teaching context interesting – when I started blogging I didn’t dare hope that would be the case!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *