A hair-raising experience (in a good way)

Ever have one of those moments where something so cool happens that it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up? Maybe its hearing an awesome piece of music or viewing an amazing piece of art. For me, this happened the other day in class while talking with students. I’m sure some of my fellow teachers have had this happen too, where you really connect with one or more students and you can tell with absolute certainty that they get whatever it is you are trying to teach them.

There I was, talking with biology students about some of the work we’ll be doing over the next couple weeks as we wind down the school year.  I mentioned that I thought it would be fun for some of them to make “advice” videos to students who will take my classes next year, sort of a how-to-survive-Ludwig’s-classes sort of thing. I mentioned that it might be helpful to include their take on standards based grading and the blogging we’ve been doing all year. That’s when the hair-raising moment happened. Students began to testify about how much they like standards-based grading. I wish I’d have had a video camera rolling, we would have been done with our project right then and there. Several spoke to how they liked knowing exactly what they needed to do and know in the class. Some spoke to how they liked the flexibility to do different things to meet the standards, not just the same project as everyone else. I wish I would have written it all down for you (and me). But mostly I remember just standing there in the midst of my students, neck prickling, and all I could say was “Yep. That’s how its supposed to work.” I suppose I was smiling at them too.

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