The Payoff, Jan 2013

Dan Goldner inspired me to start keeping track of these moments of hope and change.

Jan 18, from struggling student:

“I’ve never thought about things so intently before.  You’re changing the way we think.  It’s really different from what I’m used to.  You really have to understand why you think what you do.  I talk to everyone about it — I’ve been talking to my parents about it.”

Jan 18, from philosophical student;

“Someone at work the other day said ‘I can’t believe I did something so stupid!’ and I said, ‘Don’t disrespect your past self.’ “

Jan 24, From usually-overwhelmed right-answer-seeking student:

“I was all excited, I thought ‘I’m going to be the first person to break Ohm’s Law!’  And then I checked, and Ohm’s Law works fine, but wouldn’t that be awesome?”

Jan 25, from struggling student:

“It’s so different from high school!  In high school it seemed like you always had to know something, you could  never say ‘I don’t know.’ “ME: “Oh.  Was it bad if you didn’t know something?”

Stoic, Silent Student joins in: “Yeah!  That was not OK.”

ME: “I never take that into account enough.  The way I see it, of course we want to talk about what you don’t know.  What would be the point of talking about the things you already know?”

SS: “I think it’s getting better.  People are getting more comfortable just throwing things out there.”

Jan 28:

“Practice makes better!” (Me and student, simultaneously)

Jan 30 (click through for photo):

An offering
The way to a teacher’s heart is through safely, strategically destroyed components



    • I’ve seen it — I especially appreciated today’s post, aptly enough on Data Analysis.

      I have mixed feelings about the concept — it’s not always my thing, not that I begrudge anyone their positivity. I understand that something positive, anything positive, can lift your spirits and give you energy, and no one ever has enough of that. It’s just that it feels weird to praise the day for being smart and pretty (even thought it is). I worry about the day’s mindset. Shouldn’t we be praising the day for having persevered in an unfamiliar task or learned something new? (*only partly joking*).

      I’d rather see “One Good Thing I Improved About My Teaching.”

      I realize that I’m reacting to the lack of something else — not the existence of what is there. I find myself re-reading this post over and over:

      “All this talk about caring and the intangibles of our job — cf. Freedom Writers and nine out of ten blog posts on the state of teaching — distracts from and lowers the bar on the matters of teaching truly worth discussing, namely: how to teach.”

      I don’t post these good news stories because they’re good. I post them because I believe that something I did contributed to them happening — something I’m going to get better at and do more of in the future.

      I know, I know — I’m blowing some harmless happiness completely out of proportion. I seem to be reacting to a lot of things lately. I feel like a cranky baby whose teeth are coming in — except that babies don’t deliberately do what they can to make their teeth come in.

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