Monday, May 10, 2010

Not Stupid

I was back at the continuation high school today.  English class.  4th period was journalism.

The assignment was to read through a student news magazine, and then they were to answer questions on the back cover.  I've done this with them before, so I knew the drill.

I had seven students in class.

We read through the short news stories at the front.  Emily had not heard about the oil spill.  Then we read through the short articles in the back.  Everyone knew about the upcoming Karate Kid remake.

Then we got to the Debate article on the new Arizona immigration law.  I read through the article (it was my turn to read), and then we discussed.  The discussion ended up becoming a debate with good questions asked.  Emily wasn't sure what the big deal was, and her classmates tried to explain (I jumped in to help as well).

After we had exhausted the topic, Emily observed that the school could use a debate team.  Her friend replied that the school wouldn't because "they" thought the students were stupid.

I said that no one thought that the students at the school were stupid.  Just unmotivated.  I can't recall what words I used, but I phrased it nicely.  The girls boiled it down.  Most of the students just don't care.

See, not stupid.  They're perfectly aware of what got them to the continuation high school in the first place.

Then the girls realized that no one would join a debate team, and trying to get one started could be a waste of time.  That's when we moved on to the cover story of the magazine, and soon the period was over.

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like you handled the situation well. Not only did you get them engaging in important, topical issues, but thinking about their role in what types of students they are. If only they'd get more motivated.

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  2. Ah, that's the thing. The fact that they aren't motivated is why they ended up at the continuation high school in the first place.

    But yeah, it was interesting to see them pick up on their culpability in how they got to where they got to. These are the ones who figure it out and go on to actually graduate.

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