Journals. Write them every week. Reflect. Think. Criticize. Analyze.

I ask kids to do these things because I want to know what goes on inside their heads.   After all, I don’t have the luxury of time these days.  I can’t just sit down and have a good talk with them like I always used to do with my former students.

I have to wonder why I seem to use so many negatives lately,  but I digress.

I guess after several years of teaching, I sort of set expectations and this has perhaps been my biggest stumbling block.  Haven’t I learned long ago that every student is different?  Why then should I expect my students today to think and act a certain way?  Why should I use the same criteria as before?

Many would argue that the world we live in today is far removed from what some of us have gotten used to. True. But, I’m afraid to accept that society has changed so drastically that right and wrong have totally been redefined.

Today, students struggle to find meaning in everything they do.  And, in many ways, I feel extremely sad when I read blogs about how their lives have become so boring and so repetitive that all they get to do is study.  It makes me rethink my position on providing rigor inside the classroom… I start to think that what they sorely need is a dose of fun and spontaneity instead of another blog entry to write.

I don’t want their journals to be a useless exercise–nothing but a small part of their robotic life.  I want them to crave having to write about an experience that has left them either awe-struck, breathless, devastated, exhilirated, or whatever, for as long as they talk about how they feel….  

What do these kids really need to start feeling such things?  Right now, I feel kind of clueless.  Maybe I’m just tired. Maybe watching the terrible news feed on SHS has put a strain on me.  I have no idea.
I do hope that when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll sort of know some of the answers.  

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