Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Teaching Stories and More Sting

I am starting to get to know some of my students, and I really like them. My family laughs because it's nothing new. I'm continually amazed by watching a human beings learn. They come in not knowing how something works, what it means, or how to accomplish a task. We have class, and they learn. It's a miracle every time I see it happen. I come home with stories about all my genius students, all their accomplishments, the funny things they've said, the difficulties they've overcome. My family has heard it all before and mostly thinks I imagine it as all so amazing because I am a teacher. Is it really quite ordinary to everyone else?

I recall learning to do some things as being quite difficult. Long division, converting fractions to decimals, finding percentages, and diagramming sentences were all a nightmare to me. Then, I show the same skills to a student, a light goes off and they just know it. How is that not totally amazing? I found out last night that one of my 18 year old high school students is paying for her own tutoring. She isn't failing anything, but she knows she can excel. She thinks it's worth paying for out of her own small earnings from her part-time job. I wanted to cry. I would gladly have tutored her for free.

Sting Fact #3: Sting was part of the first series of READ posters published by the American Library Association. In his, Sting was posed leaning against a stone wall in period costume (18th century?) He held a book, I believe it was Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, and an English castle loomed in the background. There were a number of very fine posters in that first series, and I bought them all for our library. But, Sting's was my favorite and I hung it at the end of a row of stacks where it would face my desk. I later bought my own copy and kept it in my office throughout most of my library career.


Wool Winder said...

Have you noticed how some people just love to learn? That's how my daughter is. If she's not learning something, she feels like she's not being productive. And, she never took the easy road when it came to any kind of class project. Not surprising that she took a double major in college, then got her master's in education and is currently teaching high school.

PJ said...

...and to think 'learning' is even further down to the brain cells. It really is amazing.