This week I started classes again, and I have to say that so far my classes are too good to be true.
I don’t get too excited about going back each year because summer is…well…summer. And, buying fun school supplies is no longer enough to get me hyped. Once freshmen started filtering onto campus though, it was impossible to not catch some of their enthusiasm. One of my colleagues told me that I’m getting old when I told him that the freshmen were cute (in the best possible sense of the word). What else are you supposed to call it when you see them asking you to help them get all their assignments lined up on a master calendar because the first day of getting syllabi has them overwhelmed? What else are you supposed to call it when one of them shakes your hand at the end of the first class to thank you and tell you that he’s really looking forward to the class?
And, their behavior in class so far…whoa!
I decided to go with a tough cell phone policy this year because last fall — quite honestly, some students chose to fritter away their time on their electronic gadgets in my class, and it wasn’t time they could afford to lose. So, this year the policy is cell phones must be face down on the corner of the desk where I know where they are. I still think it’s good practice for all humans from age 4-94 to remember that our smart phone batteries are not our lifeblood. We don’t have to be ever connected physically to them.
As I explained the policy on Monday and explained why I was instituting it, half the class immediately whipped out their phones and put them face down on the desks when it wasn’t my intention to even make them start the policy that day. Today, I got started and forgot to ask the students right away to put their cell phones into the required position, but when I looked around, over half the students had already done so!
In my afternoon section, the tables are set up in two U-shaped rows. On Monday, the students lined up along the corner of the back U off to my left. I’m not one that pays much attention to Feng shui, but the room felt off balance. After the class, I was thinking about how nice it would be if the class sat on the inner U since there are only 8 students. But, I thought that I didn’t want to push my luck. When I got to class today, the majority of the students were already there — sitting in the center U!
So, I’m liking the start so far.
Of course, after all my good classroom mojo, I was bested by a 2 year old tonight. I was babysitting for some friends, and I put their 2 year old to bed. She told me to leave her bedroom light on, and since I hadn’t thought to ask about that routine, I left it on. I know she normally is allowed to play with her stuffed animals for a little bit before she goes to sleep. When her parents got home, they cracked up laughing. Apparently, she normally goes to be with not even a nightlight, so yeah, she definitely pulled the wool over my eyes. What can I say? She’s hard to resist. At dinner, she told me that she was a girl, her baby brother was a boy, and that I was a princess. Who’s gonna deny that kid some light?