Showing posts from September, 2016

Yeah, been meaning to fix that...

A few years ago I began asking students in my 100-level classes to write a reflection paper during the first week.  I called these "What Do You Know"?" papers.   In them they told me what they knew or imagined about the subjects we were about to explore.  If it was a course covering historical material, I asked them to tell me about their experience in past history courses.  If we would be reading poetry, I asked how they felt about that.

This assignment served a couple of aims.  First, it allowed me to get know them better and to get an idea of what they already knew.  Second, it gave me an early heads-up if any of them had serious writing problems.

My third purpose was to change the conversations we would be having at the end of the semester.  In the instructions for these papers, I asked students to set a personal learning goal.  And I had to prime the pump with a few examples or inevitably they would all have chosen "get an A."  Some of my suggested goals …

Teaching Accomodations

About two years ago I noticed that my students were becoming incredibly soft spoken, especially the timid half-engaged inhabitants out on the Siberian rim of the classroom.

More than once I've had to stride out to Siberia and lean in to hear their softly mumbled question or comment.  I mean what is it with this generation?  Why so many low talkers?

Turns out that I've been operating below the normal hearing range for quite a while. This accounts for all the times I've heard  Kaylie, when a student said her name was Bailey, Haley, or even My Li...   Not to mention the times I've misheard words and phrases and had a puzzled moment thinking 'Wait?  I don't think he really just said what I think he said.'   Case in point: a student told me recently his father was a master baker. 

Egads, that took me a few panicked seconds to decode.

So today's the first day I will be wearing the new hearing aids in class.  Who knows what I'll hear with my new bionic …