Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Actual [paraphrased] conversation among actual students

Around 1:40 on a February afternoon in a seventh- and eighth-grade English class, two sets each of 11 students watch and give feedback to student presenters. Zoom in on one group.

Presenter: So for this project, I decided to write an essay.

Observer #1 [scoffing]: You chose to write an essay?

Presenter: Yeah, [defensively] I thought it would be fun.

Observer #1: You thought it would be fun? [pauses, stunned] That's. Im. Possible.

Presenter: Um... [sheepish, stunned for a different reason]

Observer #2 [brightly]: I think it'd be possible if you cared enough about the topic. Like, enough that you're really curious about it.

Teacher [sighs, equal parts pride and woe]


  1. Replies
    1. Afraid don't have much more, Carol, yet. The presenter went on presenting, and the other students let the conversation drop. I'm thinking of offering this slice of writing in tomorrow's classes to see what they think about these differing stances towards learning...

  2. This is why I LOVE teaching middle school.

  3. Sometimes eavesdropping is worth it.