April 18, 2013
Today, my entry is not completely tech related, even thought I’m filing it in the e-community.
We are reading the book Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom, in my online class and in my face to face class. I am getting similar feedback and reaction from both groups, which is very satisfying.
I have posted for my online class a number of discussions involving thoughts from the book and encourage them to add their own insight and thoughts about the book. I have given the online class a range/choice of questions to complete and in my feedback I have encouraged them to challenge themselves by not always choosing straight content answers. A number of students have taken me up on this and in the privacy of their dropbox have opened up a little bit more than in the open discussions. I’m loving the personal dialogue I have created with a few. This is a good opportunity for me to get to know them a little better and share ideas about the novel.
For my face to face classes, I have had some wonderful “live” conversations. We stay on topic, but get off topic. We make connections from Morrie’s life to our own. In this way, we come together as a class, because the students see just how much in common they have. The nodding, the same thing happened to me, the understanding. I really enjoy teaching this book. I read it when it was first published and I cried. I’ve re-read it a few times on my own and cried. And in the past three years I have read the last chapters outloud to my classes and cried. Every. Single. Time.
What has saved me from being embarrassed by crying in front of my students? The sharing of emotion that built up to that moment allowed for understanding by my students. I twice had students volunteer to finish the chapter when I got choked up. I twice had a co-op student and E.A. almost seemed surprised that I was that connected to literature that I would cry. Why not? We share in the class. I hope I could show my students that their teacher cares. Has empathy. Hasn’t lost the desire to read, share, be touched and teach. Every. Single. Time.