I was going to try to stay up late and get some grading and cleaning done tonight, but after waking up around 4:30 a.m. this morning, it just isn’t going to happen. The time change has really thrown me and I’m afraid my sleep patterns are really off. I am exhausted tonight, so I’m hoping to go to bed early and get up early and get some grading and cleaning done tomorrow. But, before hitting the bed tonight, I wanted to be sure to get my 365 Days of Thankfulness post in (and my 3rd day of the Nablopomo as well). For my first two 365 Days of Thankfulness posts you can go here and here.
Today, I am thankful for enthusiastic students who really enjoy learning. I tend to get caught up in the drudgery of grading and prepping and just getting through classes and I don’t take enough time to really connect with students and their interests. I realized today that by teaching that way, I miss out on a lot that students have to offer. Not all students bring a true enthusiasm and interest to learning, but the ones that do make up for all those who do not. This semester, I’m teaching the writing class for our major and we are just starting on the final papers and the students are coming up with their topics. Some of them are really excited about their topics and that excites me. When I was a student, I loved doing research and learning more about things. I sometimes feel like my students don’t have that same enthusiasm. But, some do and I need to figure out more ways of giving them the chance to really explore those interest areas. I also want to make them lifelong learners, so teaching them how to find information, how to interpret and then how to use that information is really important.
So, today I am glad that I did not cancel my class (like I thought about all afternoon) and instead was able to talk one-on-one with some students about their topics (while having them do some peer feedback groups). I am glad I was able to see the enthusiasm in their faces and hear their interest in their voices. And I am excited about some of the emails I have received about their topics.
Teaching is a very social activity, but too often, I let it become a somewhat isolating activity. I need to get more social and get to know my students and their interests and their likes and dislikes. That will make me better at what I do and also more enthusiastic about my own job.