Friday, November 12
6 1/2 hours of sleep. 67 more teaching days left.
Another good day. I was nervous about the 2nd period 9th graders, like wake-up-in-the-night-in-dread nervous. But it went quite well. CT decided to give them the AP 11th graders’ warm-up, which required some deep thinking rather than their usual daily oral language warm-up, which is fixing the grammar in a short sentence. This time it was a quote from Barbara Kingsolver: “Art is the antidote that can call us back from the edge of numbness, restoring the ability to feel for another.” Two questions followed this, and the 9th graders dug in early and deep–a classic example of giving a remedial class more to chew on and seeing the heads perk up. Nearly brought tears to my eyes.
Except I was still shaking in my boots over the prospect of 2 full hours with the class.
After the warm-up, I gave them reading and writing time. They are tasked with making three annotations per chapter, and then turning those annotations into a 1/2 page paragraph. They worked for 40 + minutes silently. I couldn’t believe it. Then, we shared annotations and formed two lit circles. They actually worked this time. The kids were open, grappling with ideas in Part-Time Indian, responding to each other in civil discourse.
I am realizing that my CT’s too-cool-for-school persona masks a deep commitment to rigor. He said about the lit circles: I don’t know if what we did here was kosher or okay, but let’s keep doing it. Let’s keep talking about the book.