Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9/28 - Great Expectations

The HS was assembled for – redacted –

Edit: After initially publishing this post, I gave further consideration to the worst-case scenario consequences of its public availability.  It was about my disappointment with a speaker at the assembly.  Below is a very brief description followed by mostly unedited reflection on the rest of the day.  However, I still think that the writing in my initial post is quality, and I'd be happy to share those thoughts with those who know me well.  If you have my e-mail address and want to read the original, send me a request.  Thank you for your understanding.

The speaker at the assembly presented some specious conclusions that grated against my educational philosophy.  I was troubled, and it set an ominous tone for my day.

I had Music Theory after the assembly, and we only had 25 minutes of class.  These 25 minutes were taken up by discussion of this speaker and his points.  These students meet the expectations of maturity that I have for HS students, which is high, and I'm proud of them for it.  They identified on their own a few of these issues, and were also receptive when I, in as Socratic of a fashion as possible, introduced to them other issues.  I think I managed to help them reflect on the topics covered in a genuinely critical way.  They managed to get me to explain to them my educational philosophy that expects maturity and critical thinking from each of them and their peers, even when disappointed by the mistakes that some are bound to make.  They also managed to help me reflect on that philosophy and consider how some students simply are not receptive to certain approaches.

(For the record, I was unable to play a piece for them today due to time and a skipping CD player.)

Experiencing this at the beginning of the day set me up to work through my first truly stressed, bad mood day.  That was a hard thing to do, but working with students was ultimately a very effective method of pushing beyond my frustrations.  Mrs. D and I spoke at length about this speaker, HS students, and educational philosophy, even though the only information she had on the assembly was what I relayed to her.  Coupled with another discussion about disciplinary action and firm classroom management, she helped me reflect even further on my expectation-based philosophy by providing concrete examples, but otherwise seemed to agree with aspects of my disappointment.

Hey kids, hey adults, don't do drugs.  Hey kids, alcohol counts.  Hey adults, drink responsibly.

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