I must admit that I have fallen behind. Five hours of class with only a half hour break for lunch has a tendency to create a lot of paper. I haven't had a chance to look at the newest entries for the students blogs. I don't want to turn my back on the students during class and there always seems to be something else to do during lunch, like eat.
I guess I could actually work at home, but that would be setting a bad precident. I already had to do some planning at home and almost broke out in hives. I could at this point use my three year old son as an excuse, but the truth is there are about 50 million things I would rather be doing than working at home. Most of the them do involve my family. I could also at this point complain and say that they don't pay enough for me to spend extra hours doing work, but again I'm pretty sure that if they paid be like a doctor I still wouldn't do open heart surgery on the dining room table.
I think that if I don't take care of myself first then I will start to resent the kids. My life is devoted to educating myself. So though I don't take papers home to grade very often, I do spend time in theaters, galleries and libraries. Even watching television helps me become a better teacher.
Now that the confession and excuses have run out I would like to comment on the quality of work I have looked at. We have spent the last week working on poetry and on the whole I have been very impressed with the quality of work. Even when the poems aren't that great the amount of effort has been remarkable. Some of the greats are starting to drop and I am wondering how many of the students would be able to keep this up over the whole school year. When I first heard about the three week sessions with five hour classes I thought it was insane, but after work with the kids for eight days I think the shorter sessions help the students stay focused. Not only do they not have to sustain concentration beyond 3 weeks, but they only have to focus on one class and teacher.