Hands Up!

I’ve got to tell you about my Unix class yesterday. I’ve had so many bad experiences in the classroom here and I need to give you this one to make up the balance.

Last week I was asking questions of my students who sat in silence as usual. When I pushed them they came up with good answers but were not generally keen to answer. I teased them saying they were determined not to answer anythying and I explained that they would do better if they were determined to answer — irrespective of whther they knew the answer or not. Yesterday, in a Javascript class, I wrote some example expressions on the board and asked for their values. Something unheard-of happened:

They all raised their hands. 😀
They must have discussed it and everyone raised their hands and gave (correct) answers for the value of the first expression. I started to ask another question; their hands were up immediately, before I had even finished it. I laughed so much. And so did they. I was in on the joke but it was such a generous one we all laughed. And when one lady gave a loud and clear answer I was so happy I did a little Grouch Marx dance at the front of the classroom. #8)

By the end of the class the novelty had worn off, but although they were quiet again, they were still answering. That class was so much better than some I have had here. A little effort goes a long way.

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