i am not a huge fan of research. the word itself kinda gives me the heebeegeebees. i have been trying to compartmentalize research as much as possible. separating my teacher hat and my academic hat. when i am in class teaching, i try to “be here now” a la ram dass, and when i am compiling data, i try to turn the emotional part of my mind off.
looking at students like numbers doesn’t feel good to me. looking at the number of questions that were answered correctly vs. the number that weren’t saddens me, rather than inciting me to action.
what gets me going in a huge way, is seeing the faces of the kids as they begin to see the whole picture coming together. yesterday at Eli Africa, we taught a lesson about emotion words. angry, sad, shy, disappointed, nervous, worried, happy, silly. some of the words were known, and some of them were definitely new to our younger students. but watching the wheels turn in their heads, when the realize that the face i am making is “timide” in french, and then finally making the connection that in english that is shy, is overwhelming.
every kid participated yesterday. the kids who i was pretty sure spoke no english, got up and performed an open scene, the kid who is way too cool to be there also got up and performed an open scene, and the girl who clearly was born for the stage also performed an open scene. the cohesive participation is exhilarating for me, and so encouraging as a teacher.
but then i have to come home and write an analytic memo, and break down the fantastic, adrenaline inducing, thinking on the fly class that was just taught into its most basic parts. it seems like i am dishonoring the progress that was made in class, by focusing on the minute details of what could have, should have, and might have been, instead of the beauty that was.