Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nobody's Fault But Mine

Nobody's fault but mine
Nobody's fault but mine
If I don't read, my soul be lost
Nobody's fault but mine

So runs the chorus in the classic Blind Willie Johnson song.  I was reminded of that this morning as one of my sophomores talked with a friend before first period.  My student and her friend came into the classroom, and the friend began asking her about Latin.  She immediately began to talk about how much fun it was, and that made me tune in a bit.  I listened as she shared with her friend activities we do and even taught her friend how to say hello to one person, Salve, and to more than one person, Salvete.

My student then took out her vocabulary list and explained to her friend that all the vocabulary for the quarter is available on our website, as is a course outline that lists all the homework assignments, tests, and quizzes.  She said to her friend, "I have no excuse not to do well."

Needless to say, such a conversation was music to a teacher's ears.  This is the kind of responsibility we want to see students take for their learning.  I have done my job by making resources available, but she is also doing her job by utilizing those resources.  Lest anyone think this is a rare student, I would venture to say the majority, perhaps even a large majority, of my students take her approach.  Does everyone get an A?  No.  Is every student prepared every day with every assignment?  Of course not.  They are human beings.  They do, however, know the right way to approach their studies, and I could not have been more proud of this student sharing that with her friend.

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