Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Two things I have always taken for granted before coming here, without even realizing they were things I should take for granted: water coming out of the faucet when you turn it on and not getting shocked anytime you touch anything electrical.
Today three students asked me questions while we were doing practice exercises. Great success.
We were doing an exercise as a class today and I asked one of the kids for the answer. The answer he gave me was incorrect, but I wrote it on the board and asked “does everyone have this equation and this answer?” A bunch of them answered yes so I repeated “everyone please respond, do you have this equation and answer?” a few more times. The entire class responded “yes!” in unison. I said “well this answer is wrong, it’s too bad that every single person in my class had the wrong answer!” Then a few people began to sheepishly say “…well I have a different answer…” I asked “who here has an answer different than the one I wrote on the board?” Half the class raised their hands! “You guys! I asked if you had this answer and you ALL said yes even though half of you didn’t! It’s not enough for you to just sit there and say ‘yes’ every time the teacher asks you a question. If you have a different answer, have the courage to say so! The same goes for when I ask you if you understand. I am not asking because I want to hear to say ‘yes,’ I am asking because I really want to know if you understand or not. Is this clear?” They all responded “yes!” and then everyone (including myself) giggled. Damn, I should have phrased the question differently.

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