Sunday, September 22, 2013

One Step Forward, Two Steps...

You know the drill.  I was so hoping that I was making progress.  It was too good to be true.

We had spent a week or so discussing the history of our English language, where it came from, and where it seems to be heading.  We even spent some time wondering if the technology of today puts us into the Post Modern Era of the English language.

Then, I listened to my students having a Socratic Seminar on English usage today.  Students doubted the articles that said applicants were using text lingo on job applications.  They guffawed.  "We know when to use text language and when we shouldn't."  Uh...right.

The next day, I pointed them in the direction of our classroom blog.  There was a post for Extra Credit. (OK. Mainly to make sure that they actually knew how to access the blog!) The comments they had posted the week before were horrifying.  They didn't capitalize "I," "English," or sometimes even their own name.

"No one sees the blog, Mrs. E."

Well, I do.  Students in my classes do. Their parents do. Colleagues can and do.  Other English teachers could.  What would any of those people think of me as an English teacher after they read the student comments? I told them I was doubtful that I would even have a job.

The assignment for that day was to read the comments on that post and see how many had errors.  They then were to pick the ten worst offenders, copy them into a document, and rewrite the comment using correct grammar.

And a hush fell over the room...

(I probably should let you know that I assured them that I would post no more comments with such blatant disrespect for our language.)

Yes, just when you think your students are making progress...!

Sophomores do such a great job of keeping me humble.

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