Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Class personality

Every class has its chemistry. There are some classes you enjoy and look forward to. They know you like them and they like you in return. Sometimes they'll tell you that was a pretty good lesson and you're on top of the world. That somehow gives you energy and makes you want to sing on the way home.

There are some classes you wish would take the ferry to Manhattan and never return. There's something hostile about the way they enter and leave the room that tells you what they think of you. It could be your imagination and you try to figure out what will bring them over to your side. You try lessons that worked with other classes but even that doesn't help and it's because of that chemistry.

They know when they have you on the run. They have instincts that detect your frustrations. There were days I wanted to sit behind my desk and let them do whatever they damn well pleased.

Frank McCourt, Teacher Man

Luckily for me, at this point in my teaching career, I don't have any "tough" classes--I truly like all of my classes. But every teacher will tell you, each class has its own very distinct personality. A lesson that bombs in one class will work wonders in another. A joke that kills in one class elicits the crickets chirping in another. Sometimes the most important part of teaching is discerning quickly what kind of a class you have. With some classes, strongarm tactics work. With others, it will turn them against you for the whole year. It's an art few teachers, myself included, ever perfect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hats off to all who are teachers!!! They have the hardest job. And the pay stinks!