Thursday, February 23, 2012
#89: Witnessing "A-Ha" Moments
One of the pleasures of teaching is witnessing students suddenly understand something. Today I was leading whole group discussions on the novel we are reading in my Literature classes and the short story I used as a mentor text in my Language Arts classes. Throughout this discussions, for some reason more than usual, I really enjoyed watching kids "get it". I appreciate the subtleties of some students, whose eyes simply focus and they quietly nod to themselves. Even more than that I enjoy the kids who can't help but make verbal proclamations of their understanding, who try harder than ever to stretch their arms impossibly high for me to call on them, or the student today who raised both arms. As a teacher, and like all teachers, I work so hard to scaffold questioning for this to happen; my ultimate goal is to make my students stronger readers and writers, and those moments of enlightenment are so appreciated. I challenge my students regularly because I know just how smart they all truly are, and it's always very cool to see them realize that for themselves.