Funny how sometimes when I post something, I’m tested on it the next day. Following my post Why Memoir Monday?, fourteen out of fifteen students didn’t complete their homework on Tuesday. The homework was to prepare for literature circle discussions and with the completed notes, discussion circles couldn’t happen. Fourteen out of fifteen! I usually don’t have this problem with homework, probably because I’m super selective about the kind of homework I assign. It’s important and relevant. I was shocked. (This class is really on top of their homework — often there is 100% completion.) Then I was disappointed.
So I gave my Big-I’m-Disappointed-In-You spiel. And I was. Disappointed. Annoyed. Perturbed. And they were silent. In an effort to salvage the day, they took their independent reading time early for the day while I refocused and made plans for the remainder of the time. Each day is too precious to let it go to waste.
After reading we wrote a couple of quick writes, one titled “Disappointed.” Then we shared. Walls tumbled down as the shared genuine thoughts and real-life-stuff that is happening now. Disappointed in themselves, disappointed in their parents, disappointed in their friends, disappointed in a sister, disappointed about letting people down.
I had such insight into them as a people and I found myself asking how does what we do in this class — a class all about making sense of the world and our place in it — help them now. Not next year or in college or when they’re married. Right now.
My heart wanted to thank them for not doing their homework, because we did this work instead. We wrote and read and shared as a community of readers and writers — all trying to make sense of the world. I’m a better teacher today because they didn’t do their homework yesterday.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.