“I Pass!” is Active, Not Passive

“I Pass!” is Active, Not Passive

I was talking to my friend Diana on the weekend, about the passing rule. She had read my post, “Just say Pass!” and it made her think about her experience in post secondary courses.

“It’s not good when people always pass,” she said. “In all my classes, most people hardly said anything. Two or three white men did all the talking, and the other students said nothing. Most people passed all the time.” Continue reading

Just Say “I Pass.”

Just Say “I Pass.”

When I took bridge lessons many years ago, our teacher asked us to go home and practice bidding. “Just look in the mirror,” he instructed us, “And say, ‘I pass.’ That is the bid that you’ll make most often.  And that is the bid that will keep you out of trouble as a beginner.”

We don’t play bridge in my literacy or ABE classes, but I do teach people to say the magic phrase, “I pass.” My second classroom rule is “You can pass if you want to.” Continue reading

Refuse to Be Bored      (A Second Look)

Refuse to Be Bored (A Second Look)

English: A bored person

English: A bored person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Both Jenny and Evelyn commented on my last post, “Refuse to Be Bored” to the effect that the rule is easier to describe than to implement. I agree, because I know I found it difficult to learn to do.I’m writing this blog with the benefit of hindsight; and the rule about refusing to be bored, as I set it out in my post last week, did not come easy to me, nor did it fall into place all at once. I know that at first when students had the temerity to suggest that they didn’t want to do something, I got, as Jenny said, defensive. Continue reading

Refuse to be Bored

Refuse to be Bored

I don’t have many rules in my classroom, but the most important one is “Refuse to be bored.”

So when I say, on the first day of term, that the first rule is to refuse to be bored, students are surprised. For one thing, most adults going back to upgrade their skills expect to be bored. Their experience of school is one of large stretches of boredom, accompanied by more or less anxiety, and interspersed with flashes of panic. Why would my class be any different? Continue reading