The Grateful Farmer

I was very pleased with the results of the first homework assignment for my English class. I asked students to:

Email me a Quicktime video introduction that includes: your full name, your preferred name or nickname, the name of your favorite writer or filmmaker (or book or movie), and anything that I need to know about you as a learner or human being.      

I’ve been watching a few of these videos each day since I received them and taking notes (even if they are short). Besides learning the answers to each question, I am also learning about the ways students communicate (both orally and in terms of their body language), the fluency level of their speech, and their eagerness (or lack thereof) to connect with me.

Since I don’t know these students personally, and I’m trying to figure out how to connect with them as quickly as possible, all data is useful. To close the loop with each student, and hopefully open a new one, I’m replying to each of them with an email that acknowledges that I’ve watched their video, comments on something I’ve noticed about their video, and asks any followup questions that seem necessary.

As a teacher early in the year, I try to hang onto the mindset of a grateful farmer — happy to be planting seeds in even the smallest plots of land

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