What do you / did you like best about starting back to school? When I was a child, I think that my favorites were the smell of new pencils and erasers, new paper in my notebook outfitted with dividers for that year's classes, putting book covers on that year's textbooks, and new back-to-school clothes. As a teacher I still love back to school, but for very different reasons. I love seeing my students from previous years who are still in the university — especially if they're in my classes. I love meeting my new students, looking forward to forging some friendships that will go into the future.
I woke up this morning at 5:05, awake as I am now, so I decided to get up and post a special first-day-of-classes iv. I'm sure I'll pay for this this evening when I struggle to stay awake till bedtime.... 🙂
This year it will be fun to watch the reactions of returning students to the new furniture in our classroom, generously provided by the school's alumni. It looks so fresh and roomy — we went from a crowded room with 59 desks to just 35 seats. Ah, room to move around! Here are two pictures of the classroom in which I teach French.
To the new students, though, it will likely be the thought, "Hmm ... so this is the French room, huh?" And that's ok, I guess — they have nothing to which to compare it.
To keep things in perspective, I have to remind myself each year that for the new students, things have always been the way they know them. Part of our job as teachers is to widen their horizons beyond what they have always known and thought. And that will definitely happen in my French classes.
At this time of year I always think of the list put out by Beloit College that reminds teachers of the "mindset" of that year's incoming freshman class. If you want to feel old ... even some of you who may only be in your late 20's, check out the list on their website (link is below). Here are some of my favorite items from this year's list:
BELOIT COLLEGE'S MINDSET LIST (edited) FOR THE CLASS OF 2014
Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992.
Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
E-mail is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
“Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.
With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.
Colorful lapel ribbons have always been worn to indicate support for a cause.
DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides. (ivman adds: In my office I just threw out three slide carousels — slides and all. When's the last time I showed those things?! Why are they still occupying real estate on my bookshelf?!)
Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.
Czechoslovakia has never existed.
Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.
The dominance of television news by the three networks passed while they were still in their cribs.
Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.
A purple dinosaur has always supplanted Barney Google and Barney Fife.
Beethoven has always been a good name for a dog.
Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always sat on the Supreme Court.
They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.
The nation has never approved of the job Congress is doing.
I look forward to the comments on this post. Please pray for us as our university classes begin today.
"Prophecy is practical. It teaches us how to live today." - Mark Kittrell
Pity the insomniac, philosophical, dyslexic atheist who lies awake at night wondering whether there really is a dog.
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