Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sometimes they amaze me...

There are these moments... certain moments during teaching when it's like the air is packed with thousands of little gold freckles. It's this moment that happens during worship leading sometimes, too, and it's what I am always looking for when leading a group of people in anything: this moment of total connection. Some call it synergy. When suddenly we are all in one place, on the same page, discovering or uncovering something.... It's powerful when it happens while teaching the bible or leading worship, but when I discovered that something like that could also happen while teaching literature.... WOW. They paid me today to do something I would gladly do for free...

I was leading a class discussion on Decision making, which is one of the themes in a book we are studying. We hit "survival" a couple of days ago, but today we melded the themes at some point at the end of class, which is hard enough sometimes with a group of people who are good at discussions, but these 9th graders are only just now falling into the groove of whole-class discussion-having (it's a brand new discipline for most of them) so it has been rough with them many days.

But I plug on, because I am determined to train my students to be able to do full-class discussions. Because they are fun, it's a valuable skill to develop, and it's a great way to learn material. It's also a good way to keep the kids engaged for an extended period of time. There are weaknesses, including the fact that it's easier for some kids to hide in a full-class discussion, but that can be mended with some techniques I am going to experiment with in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I don't teach in order to get the goose-bumpily feeling and for fun conversation any more than I lead worship in order to get that feeling and positive "strokes," but I'll tell you what: it's a bonus like crazy in professions that demand much of you physically and spiritually, but whose pay is often minimal.

I'm tired now, and this post is a patchwork from something I was writing last week and had to abandon when the computer went down (next thing on the list to buy-a-new-one of), but wanted to get it off my list of things unfinished.

Now, that's down and fourteen million more things to go...

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