Teaching Reflections 9/21

As a personal goal for this school year, I wanted to reflect each week on what transpired, hoping that might lead to some insight into what I do well and what I need to work on. The thought that I’d actually be more deliberate in writing was a motivation as well. So of course it’s taken me a full six weeks to sit down and actually write my first one.

Today was a good day (yes, Ice Cube has immediately come to mind). I talked to my dual kids about how we don’t often like thinking about opposing arguments and discussed the text’s “collaborative rhetoric” chapter which their first paper is based on. I tell my students every year that I thrive on discussion – it’s what I truly enjoy in my classroom – and being able to talk about how we all hate having to think about why others believe the things they do is just human.

My activity I planned for them could have been stronger. I found an article critical of Biden and one critical of Trump and had them read through the one they thought they’d disagree with more, answering questions geared toward thinking about why they got defensive about the argument being put forth. But, as one of my students early on asked, “what if we dislike both Biden and Trump?”

Fair enough, kid.

Now I’m waiting to have a discussion with one of my newspaper staffers about him not doing a thing for the paper this six weeks. He was a bit of a worry when we took him on last year, but he tended to get most things done (though he’s not the strongest student). Now he just seems more distracted by everything else. Will have to tell him he’s not going to the journalism conference in two weeks, and will have to prove that he’s actually interested in being a part of the staff over the next three weeks or I’ll find another class he can be in. Our NP staff is so dependent on everyone getting their work done; he’s put a burden on everyone else by slacking off entirely.

Last point for today: our on level teachers have a real problem with student apathy. As one of my teachers pointed out during lunch, teachers not being able to seriously hold students accountable for late work is a real grind for them. When the constant question seems to be “what can teachers do to help their struggling students?” – a fair question, but one that ignores the reality that the VAST majority of students are putting themselves in this position by not doing anything in class – it wears on us as teachers.

OK, enough for now.

One Response to “Teaching Reflections 9/21”

  1. Good to hear from you again, Mr. Williams.

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