A Good Lesson…A Bad Poem

I am in the middle of class.

A good class. They listen.

A hand goes up.

I say, “Yes.”

I am waiting for the genius, the home run, the reply–the question of the year.

“I have to go to the lav.”

Deflated.

I try again. The class smiles.

I reengage.

The class leans forward.

Attention is in the air. The discussion gains momentum.

A hand is raised.

I say, “Yes.”

I am waiting for the genius, the home run, the reply. The question of the year.

“I have to sharpen my pencil.”

I start again.

I recover.

I finish the tale, give a preview of tomorrow. Someone stands. Raises out of his seat at the pinnacle of the lesson.

I say, “Yes!”

This is the genius, the home run, the reply. The question of the year!

“Just getting a tissue.”

Bell rings. Everyone leaves.

Sigh.

Maybe tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “A Good Lesson…A Bad Poem

  1. I could never do what you do. The kids in my library class will often come up with something interesting to add to the discussion, or a question.. But they’re 2nd and 3rd graders. They haven’t lost the will to participate—yet. With your age group, I think you have to resort to something really provocative. Depending on your subject matter, that may be next door to impossible.

    • History. Civics, precisely, but for this week and next I’ll be giving post-tests to prove that they learned. This will take me three days per class (I have a rotating class schedule so 6 days total). I’ve already given several of these tests at the beginning of the year, spent two weekends correcting them then and “monitoring tests” in the same format. I’d NEVER do this in real life. I’d sprinkle assessments in throughout out in authentic way. That’s the stuff I can’t do well. I’ll wake a kid up anyday. They’re usually pretty good for me. I tell jokes.

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