Something that happened today (#OneThing blog challenge post)

It seems like I come home from work nearly every day and shrug and say, nothing much happened today. Of course that’s pretty silly. Lots of things are always happening and I am just not attaching importance to them. So the purpose of this blog challenge (for myself) is to pay attention to what happens in a day, reflect on it, and share it. I invite you to join me.

butterfly closeup

Image by Josh Kellogg used under Creative Commons license

 

Something that happened today:

H came to class, sat down, and said, “Anne, I didn’t do any of my homework.”
H’s class is one-on-one. His homework was to prepare a presentation about a film or book that he wants to share. Mondays are Presentation Day.
I sighed. “Okay,” I said.
“Let’s work on essay writing more today,” he said.
“Did you write the thesis statement for your compare/contrast essay?”
“No.”
“Did you finish outlining the part about imagery?”
“No.”
“Okay. Did you print the story that you lost?”
“Yes.”
“Okay, let’s try to find specific examples of imagery.”

And that’s what we did for the rest of the class. He re-read parts of the stories in depth, asked questions about words he didn’t know for sure, and underlined examples of imagery. He wrote the examples in his notebook and finally, as the class was ending, I asked him to look at what he’d written for each story. And he had an a-ha moment. I watched his eyes light up as he saw that the examples he had found and written on his own were going to be relevant to his essay – there was clear contrast.

And I had an a-ha moment, too. I realized that while it’s important to read carefully and deeply, it’s also important to pull back sometimes and see the bigger picture. So the class didn’t go the way I thought it would, but learning appears to have happened and I’m content with that.

Image by Didier Descouens used under Creative Commons license

Image by Didier Descouens used under Creative Commons license

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Comments

  • Josette  On April 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Magic! Yes! Learning happened. Thank you Anne. Challenge gratefully accepted.

  • David Harbinson  On April 30, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Hi Anne, thanks for sharing and instigating the challenge. I’ve really enjoyed reading others’ posts. “but learning appears to have happened and I’m content with that.” << Love this, it's what we're here for, right?

    • Laura Patsko  On April 30, 2014 at 5:34 am

      Hear, hear! I enjoyed this post & will take up the challenge shortly!

  • Hana Tichá  On May 1, 2014 at 12:13 am

    This is a nice and optimistic post, Anne. What you described is so natural and genuine, and this is one of the moments your student may remember for the rest of his life. I wish we could all experience such satisfying moments every day, in every lesson…. I can’t wait to take up the challenge. Still waiting for the #onething 🙂

Trackbacks

  • […] something that happens in class tomorrow. Of that I am sure. My friend Anne Hendler has created a blog challenge and I am going to participate.  Historians might suggest this is related to the time she blogged […]

  • By Waiting | ELT Reflections on April 29, 2014 at 7:19 am

    […] post is in response to Anne Hendler’s blog post challenge to share one thing that happened today and post it with #OneThing on Twitter. I decided to write it […]

  • […] can see Anne’s post here. Nathan Hall has also taken part, his post is here. Mike Griffin has previewed his post here. Have […]

  • […]   In case you’d like a bit more detail. I think today’s class was fairly typical of my usual Tuesday classes. The title of the course is “International Discussion” and I usually have 9 students (4 from Korea, 3 from China, and 1 each from Taiwan and Russia). It is a nice mix of students (in terms of nationalities but also personalities and English abilities as well as passion for and knowledge of international issues).  Related to my post from yesterday I was hyper aware about class but also a bit anxious. You know, waiting for the perfect #onething to reveal itself. There was some sort of weird new calculus and criteria for the class, something different than questions like  “are my students more comfortable with English than they were 3 hours ago?” and “are my students better equipped to take fluent turns expressing their opinions in English?” or even stuff related to specific lexis, patterns or common pitfalls. This doesn’t mean I forgot these things, it just means there was another thing in the back of my mind. Thanks to Anne for introducing the #onething blog challenge. […]

  • By #OneThing my student taught me today | Lauraahaha on April 30, 2014 at 6:33 am

    […] Hendler recently challenged teacher-bloggers to share just one little thing which happened in the course of their ordinary teaching day which […]

  • […] and it took me a while to formulate it. I share this with you as my response to Anne Hendler’s #OneThing blog challenge because these are the types of questions I get from Korean high school teachers of English, and I […]

  • […] is the 2nd of ?? posts in response to Anne Hendler’s  One Thing Blog Challenge .Here is my […]

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