I do have to say things have been interesting in the Wonderful World of Constructivism (roll sound byte). Listening to the podcasts of my regular ninth graders' "This I Believe" essays has changed my view on some of their written pieces. It really speaks of how difficult it is to teach voice in writing, when hearing their actual voice of their essays comes through so easily. Some still need more polishing as well as them learning to plan ahead.
I guess that is a frustration I am feeling now. Here is this really interesting assignment, something they created, and then so many wait till the last moment to go out and complete it, rushing through it as though they do not really care that it is their best work. So it makes me wonder, why do another cool, challenging reflective assignment? Am I going to get the same results? The same lackadaisical last minute work ethic? Why challenge them to be better when they could care less themselves? I am trying to be better and challenge myself to break out of the assembly line production of kids to help them realize their true potential, but I feel right now that I am busting my derrière for nothing. Pardon my French (for those of you that kow me this is my kind of humor). I am frustrated! Do they see how good they can be? DO they see the moments of brillance I see? Am I not getting them? Is there something I am missing? I think I am going through a Karl moment-the glass is feeling close to half empty.
On the brighter side, I encourage you to listen to their podcasts on their English Nine class blog and give them constructive feedback. It was unbelievable that after the first day it was up, they already had a messsage from New Zealand (go Kiwi).
Additionally on an even brighter side, I do have to say that I am not giving up hope. I am starting Digital Storytelling with my regular ninth graders this week. Throughout this entire semester we are examining this idea of "What Matters" and realting each piece of literatture back to ourselves as well as the world around us. Everything connects to "What Matters." You can check out the full assignment on the AHS homepage-teacher web pages-Mrs. Smith-English 9-What matters. I would love to know what you think.
Thanks for listening.