professornana (professornana) wrote,

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learning through teaching

The meeting room is quiet now. My students have all gone to lunch while I babysit their new laptops and Kindles. This is the first class, first meeting of our new IMLS grant recipients. I had the pleasure of delivering now only class (and there is still a half day of that to come) but also new laptops and Kindles that are theirs to keep for the program and after. It was like Christmas morning as I watched them open the Kindles (we did that first thing this morning so they could charge) and then the laptops right before lunch. Almost 20 laptops are plugged into every available outlet (thankfully, I brought a strip with me). For now, it is just the hum of machinery and me typing away.

What I have learned this morning is monumental as it always is. As students introduced themselves to one another I was once again astonished to see the nodding heads and the "Me, too!" call outs. One student used the word "awesome" to describe herself. It was wonderful to see other nod assent. Yes, each one is awesome as they beat out more than 600 other applicants for the spot in this program. But they are also awesome for the work they do each and every day. One teacher works with special ed students to help them pass the state test in Biology. Her success rate is 50% which is AWESOME even though the state would use a different adjective. Imagine kids reading at the 1st grade level and half of them pass the standard high school test? More than awesome.

While I have not read any book today (though I began class as always by reading them "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros), I have read 18 people. That's not bad, right? And here is an excellent article about learning and teaching, too:

In a few minutes they will return from lunch and begin to set up their new laptops. It will be Christmas all over again. I love my job.

Here is a photo of the fountain outside of one of our favorite restaurants a couple of weeks ago when we had a cold snap. For some of you, this may be ho-hum. In Texas, this is VERY unusual!

Tags: learning by teaching
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