Several years ago, I had a sub who went a bit above and beyond. She not only took up whatever assignment I’d left for that day – she organized the papers and completion-graded them. In other words, she noted who’d finished and seemed to have taken the work seriously. She didn’t give them a number or a letter grade, of course – that would have been bold. But she did give each paper meeting her requirements a sticker.
It’s funny how badly we want things to be all one way or all the other. For such maddeningly complicated creatures, we seem wired to crave the binary.
It’s funny the things that make us uncomfortable.
Not, like, in general. It’s not funny that snakes make me uncomfortable, or anyone messing with someone else’s eyeballs. Hair anywhere other than someone’s head. Dogs in the backs of moving pickup trucks. Those things should make anyone uncomfortable.
But it’s weird what can make us uncomfortable in our classrooms. One of them happened to me today.
Many of us are returning without much idea what we’ll be doing in class this week. Maybe you feel behind again, and have big plans for getting things ‘back on track.’ Or maybe all that stuff you were gonna do better this year has already kinda fizzled, and you’re just hanging on until term ends. Some of you are excited about seeing your kids again – which is weird. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for you… but it’s still seriously weird.
So maybe you’re optimistic, or maybe you’re sad break is over, or maybe… Maybe you don’t actually know anymore.
My ELA comrades are fond of discussing ‘universal themes’ and ‘common plots’ in literature and in life. I can’t speak to every book ever written, but I will confess I have a much better idea of who’s going to die and who’s going to betray the hero in any decent sci-fi or superhero movie now that I’ve sat in on a few literature classes.
Most of you are probably unfamiliar with the name “Antoine Roussel.”
He’s not a traditional educator – or an educator at all. He’s a professional hockey player. A personal favorite of mine, actually.
And I have the t-shirts to prove it.
I’ve issued an open call for guest bloggers for the month of October and through Election Day, but this post didn't come from that call - it came from Facebook.
Some of you remember Facebook - it's where people not on Twitter talk about things, but with more puppies and fake news sites mixed in. The funny thing is, there are some quality folks writing there who still don't blog or even tweeterize. Go figure!
It's inherently vain to post lesson ideas, particulary those including thoughts on how to teach something in this or that situation. Most everyone reading this blog or receiving the email updates already does many things better than me and even more stuff of which I've never even thought. And yet...
Hello. Pull up a chair.
I know you came here to talk about grades, or get help on an assignment, or maybe just because your mom or one of your principals forced you to. That’s OK – I don’t take those sorts of things personally.