March 10, 2010

Encouraging the Students

The student came over to my "office" which is any free table on the second floor of the library for an hour before one of my classes, with his concern and dejection carefully plastered all over his face in his Meet The Teacher expression.

Him: "I plan to work really hard, really, but I just need an extra day for my essay."
Me:

Him: "I mean, I'm really stepping up here and want to do well.
Me:
Him: "By the way, do you have my grade?"
Me: "73%"
Him: "YESSSS!!!! Whoa, that's great. Thanks."


Miss Moved-to-Arizona-and Missed-Eight-Classes-But-Came-Back met with me last week. She, too, had the face on.
Her: "Can I still come back to class?
Me:
Her: "Thank you! Thank you!!! I know it's three weeks late, but can I still turn in the second essay?"
Me:
Her: "Oh. Bummer. Well, okay, I'll work really hard and turn in the third one on time. I'll see you Monday for peer review."
Me, after she didn't come to class on Monday:
Her email today: "I've been working on the paper for three days and didn't come to class today because it wasn't done. Sorry. Do you think I should drop the class and start all over?"
Me:

I like to encourage my students.







(Day 11 of the Slice of Life Challenge. Click to return.)

6 comments:

  1. When a student is happy with a 73, then you have to wonder about the intrinsic motivation. I guess he was happy not to have failed, and yet, we want him to think, I could do better than that. (Of course, I don't know his background and maybe the 73 is a bump up).
    Kevin

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  2. I have a thought picture of you sitting at that table, listening to these students, and wanting to be encouraging but fair. Tough spot. Enjoy your break.

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  3. Some days I envy your job, and other days I do not. Working with kids is easy for me because I know they need patience. I am less forthcoming with the patience for adults.

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  4. I'm wondering the same thing as Kevin. Oh, if only to get inside that student's head.

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  5. Great post, Elizabeth. I DO get it because I have kids who are thrilled to get a D- and do nothing but enough to pass. Sad... And isn't it a drag having to read late work? It's rarely inspiring.
    ~T-Dawg

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  6. I like this post. It's interesting to see that many of the same conversations are happening no matter who or where or what age the students are.

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