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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A Tale of Two Classes

The two classes that I teach are completely different, and I know I've talked about that before. There have been times when I tell a joke or make a funny comment in one class, and that class goes nuts laughing, but when I tell the same joke to the other class, I'm met with crickets chirping and a few low coughs.

Today, we read a story called "Sky Tree." It's an art essay, showing about 20 paintings of the same tree throughout the cycle of seasons. The illustrations are really cool, as many of the painting depict the tree without leaves but with some background that makes it look like the tree is full. For instance, the sky in the background is full of clouds, except for the halo directly around the tree, where blue sky fills in the shape of the branches.

With my morning class (ie, the class that seems to "get it" more often than not), each time we turned the page, there were gasps of appreciation and murmurs of awe with each new illustration. With the afternoon class, each time we turned the page, I EXPECTED comments or ooohs and aaahhhs and just never heard any.

Ah well, I plan to keep on trying, doing the same things with both classes, and perhaps there will be one day when that other class "gets it."


Melissa B. said...

Well, you know how it is, Mr. Teacher. Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees!

Anonymous said...

The differences in reaction show up in many groups. My youngest son is a member of the clergy and often starts his sermon with a joke. He says what the early service laughs at falls flat for the later service and vice versa.

Anonymous said...

I teach high school English (juniors) and I have the same problem. One class will "get it," whether it be jokes or the theme of a short story, and the other class will look at me like I have two heads. I guess I'm glad this is a universal problem!

By the way, your book was so entertaining and right on the money! I just gave it to my twin sister whose 3rd grade son has a male teacher. She should get a kick out of it!

Mr. McGuire said...

I have three double blocks of language arts. It is amazing how much better I can teach to one class. I am sure it has nothing to do with it having the best and the brightest. :)