Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'll miss them...

My Tuesday/Thursday classes were both good groups.

The logic class came in first -- at 7:45 they tried to learn logic. While I worried about them at first, their scores in the end were very close to my other class... an they were sweet. I'll miss the girls in the front who are roomates and worked together to get As. I'll miss seeing the couples snuggle before class started while drinking their coffee. They started out quiet and ended up asking good questions and helping one another learn a complex and abstract system.... all to avoid taking Algebra :).

After logic, I had a 30 minute break. Since my next class is in the same room, I turned this time into office hours and had some really good conversations with students during this break. They'd go out for a smoke and then come back to talk. Sometimes we'd talk about class - but often we'd talk about life. I'd hear their challenges and victories, I'd hear about their lives before coming to BNCC and their plans for the future. Usually my 9:30 class would come in during this time to chat with me or with one another... all we needed was some coffee and we'd have a great coffee house.

Then there was my honors ethics class -- This is the group I'll miss the most. Individually, they were bright, motivated and interesting. As a group, they were welcoming, fun and challenging. They were good critics of one another's work and when it came time for presentations, they'd ask one another good questions and they kept up their pattern of excellent attendance when their classmates were in charge of teaching the class.

We had an ancient guy auditing. He has a long white beard and looks a lot like Socrates. He never spoke in class, but after class he'd ask me questions -- today, after noticing the high level of communication and interaction between myself and the class, he asked me what my favorite word is... sadly, I didn't have an answer.

I have to admit, it is kind of my teaching dream to teach classes like my honors class. Smallish classes with motivated students -- sure, like any CC my honors students had challenges and sometimes they didn't do their homework -- but when they came to class they tried to engage the material even when they hadn't done the reading. They'd come in, turn on their critical thinking skills, and be present for the length of the class. For this, I'll miss them.

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