Friday, September 24, 2010

Seniors - a different species altogether


I assigned a group project to my seniors in British Lit, put them in groups, put the objectives on the board, and spun them loose.

Surely, this was enough direction for young adults; they'd divvy up roles and tasks and get to work. Not so much.

I'd say 90% of students were on task, albeit at a slow pace. At one point, I asked a chatty student which group he was in, and what project he was working on. He wasn't entirely sure. Another young lady told me her group was clueless and needed help. I looked over at her group (she was sitting on the floor quite a distance from them) and in fact they were on task and doing quite well.

It's a confusing age to me, at this point in my early teaching career - these kids are old enough to take a bullet for their country. Yet they often lack the maturity and focus to handle a simple group project. They regularly tell me work is too simple, and frankly beneath them, but then fail to follow through on the next basic piece of work I give them.

So what I'll do differently next time for this project: Set a tight time limit, and assign roles in the groups for them (Jim, you draw, Tina, you are the recorder, etc.).

My classes, at this point, are like dress shirts. I'm continuing to button them up, slowly but surely. I may never (or at least rarely) button the very top button - but I am working with focus toward at least having our classroom shirt cleaned, pressed and cuffed nicely at the sleeves.

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