"Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money; It is a process, a never-ending one." -bel kaufman

Tuesday, June 08, 2004



so to start of on a good note, here's some history on chicago's logan square artists back in the day:

a few of my classes are doing oral history projects on chicago during the 50's, 60's, and 70's. to give them an example, i'm showing them the book Yes Yes Y'all: an Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade.

unfortunately, most of my seventh period class hasn't taken the project seriously so i am dropping the assignment and we're going to do simpler book work, worksheets, and essay practice. i don't mean to be doing it as punishment. they don't seem to understand how the freedom to work on a long-term project doesn't mean fool around during class and avoid doing the homework. more than 50% of the class has yet to choose a topic and has shown some sort of animosity towards doing an independent project. futhermore, i feel my patience thinning. i think i need to approach this class with a new perspective.

something i wrote immediately after seventh period:
so today was difficult and writing helps me calm myself. i wish i could be more inspirational, but i know that i cannot please everyone. and i know that i will learn from the difficult ones, the students that fight off work and resist the challenge of school. i have to step back and examine my approach, re-think the way they learn.

i do have much to be happy about, to rejoice in my successes and continue pushing the students who i have engaged.

i met a student's mother on thursday--Jasmine's mom. after talking with her for a minute, i told her that despite the D that Jasmine has in my class (mostly because of absences), she is one of the students of whom i am most proud. Jasmine is creative, sharp, and fun to have in class. her mother responded by informing me her daughter said i was one of her favorite teachers and that Jasmine has had very few teachers that she has liked in school.

so while i am frustrated and exhausted today, i cannot forget that i am making a difference in some of these student's lives.


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