Thursday, December 9, 2010


Tuesday night I emailed a bunch of parents to voice concerns I had about their students' progress in our last unit.  I invited many of them to come after school tonight to work, so at 3:15 today, I have several yahoos messing around, getting their sillies out before they must get to work.

They happen to all be boys.  

By 3:30, they have all settled down and are working.  They are working on essays about hero myths, using terms like impossible task and deity intervention, creating thesis statements that make a claim about modern culture based on the content in our hero stories.  This is not easy work, and these are, for the most part, struggling writers.  I ask questions, listen, and press on.  They can do this if I will listen hard enough.  3:45 rolls around and three of the four have a solid idea.  By 4:00, one has committed to staying until he finishes--until five, even.  

I was planning to leave at 4:00.  For once, I didn't have pressing work to grade and I let myself leave early on those precious nights.  I look forward to it all day.  I tell them that I was planning to leave at four--before thinking--and then correct myself: "I'll stay with you until five--until you finish."

At 4:30, when I ask how he's doing as he's typing away, Lonnie says, "Good.  I didn't understand it before, but I get it now."

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