Friday, January 7, 2011

Why I Teach...

An extremely mature 9th grade student of mine (who always peruses through the books on my desk) asked if there was a book she could read that would be interesting.  I gave her Malcolm Gladwell's, Blink.  I'm a fan of Gladwell's writing and figured she would enjoy his style as well...she came into class today and quietly let me know that she finished the book and asked if she could have another for the weekend.

Another 9th grade student of mine in a CPII (lowest level in my school) World History class let me know that last night he was debating the Enlightenment ideas that we had been covering in class with his father.  He told me he took out the three primary source documents we used in class to explain to his father why Rousseau had better ideas than Hobbes.

After our review activity today, where students organized a random mix of ideas and assigned them to the appropriate Enlightenment thinker, we conduct a two minute challenge write (I do this often and the kids enjoy the challenge).

Two minutes went on the clock and we all had to write as much as we possibly could about the three thinkers we had covered so far.  I think the kids enjoy that I do this with them, I in return challenge them to beat me.  The two minutes passed (I was able to get another victory :) and I then asked the students to write for another five minutes, explaining which thinker they agreed with the most, and which thinker they believe had it all wrong.  The bell abruptly wrang as they were explaining their choices, and as they left the room heading to their next class, I could hear them arguing with one another about why Hobbes is better than Locke, or why Rousseau is better than Hobbes...

This is why I teach.

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