6:23 p.m. - July 25, 2005
Recap quickly, because my dinner awaits
Overheard one student tell another, This is a fantastic class! as they left the room. Gut response is to look at my disorganization, my habit of jumping from one topic to another with a thin connective thread, my pushing them too hard too fast. Sure, there's a fleeting sense of pride and pleasure that a six and a half hour class fared well overall, but under the mask I struggle to pat myself on the back, recognize a lesson or day well done. I've never understood just how I carry it off but all in all I'm an effective teacher; my students consistently rise and exceed expectations which other teachers and students consider impossibly high. I've always pictured the pedagogical process as me absorbing each student, divining just what he or she needs to best learn and keep learning. Or, maybe it's that I put so much of myself there my students can't avoid taking me in and I push from inside. I'm anxious to avoid the term lead or guide because no matter the teacher spin on things, learning is a struggle and is not done without someone pushing from behind.
We talked about world perceptions of the United States versus our own, as an example of linguistic and cultural EIEIO (embarrassment, imperialism, expansionism, individualism, and objectivity) [I wrote about this and coined the term in what became my first published scholarly paper. Quickly set the tone for the successful period of my life.]. As it turns out, I have students from France, Ireland, Peru, and China enrolled in the class. They shared good insight and then I turned it around, and invited the American students to share their perceptions of those other countries. It was an outstanding discussion that hit the but my culture... nail on the head. Ah, a good day.
Then I heard from Barbara-the-Editor: The famous artist has given me permission to use her artwork in Level Three. For free, saving yours truly nearly $6,000.00.
A good day. A great day.
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