Jan. 24th, 2017

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I had my first class of the new semester yesterday, and it actually left me really excited. I get to teach a real Literature class this time around, not just a comp class I decided to theme around stories, which means the kids in it are actually interested in literary analysis and not just stuck in my class because they got put there. I have hope that will lead to more robust and participatory discussions, as they'll hopefully want to think and talk about stories since they've decided to take the class.

They seemed like a good group, with enthusiasm and a willingness to engage, which seems like a good sign. I did note that they appear to be entirely white, which was quite different from last semester's much more diverse composition classes-- close to a fifty-fifty split between white kids and PoC. Gender-wise, however, I have a couple of trans kids this time, and only a handful of boys. Lesley used to be an all-girls school back in the day, so any given class doesn't tend to have a lot of boys, but I definitely have fewer now.

I am also pleased with myself that I remembered to make a first-day change I'd been planning for a while-- take a moment to ask the kids what their references were in literature and art. I had a problem last semester that none of my kids seemed particularly familiar with anything I alluded to, so I wanted to get a baseline for where they were coming from. Amusingly, not all of the kids cottoned to the fact that I wanted their LITERARY grounding, not just random pieces of culture they had feelings about, but I still feel like I learned something I can use to help them make connections to later. It not only gave me information, but it kind of acted like an icebreaker-- who doesn't like talking about the things they like and don't like? So I think it was a good idea, and I plan to use it in all literature-related classes I teach going forward.


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