Today, only half of my class showed up with full rough drafts of their essays to do the peer-review exercise in class. For 2 minutes, I was fuming. Then I asked myself… Why am I fuming? Well, because things weren’t going my way. I moved onto the agenda for the class, but throughout class, I kept thinking… What can I do here? What should I do here? So I decided, uncharacteristically, that I will “roll with the punches.”
The students who came with full drafts and completed the peer review will not have to come to next class. The rest of them will have to come with rough drafts to do a make up peer review. It seemed that both groups of students were happy. Those who met the deadline would get a day off; Those who didn’t meet the deadline would get a second chance. Plus, I was happy, because ultimately what I want is for the students to complete the rough draft and have a chance to show me a rough draft.
Some might say that I gave in – Well, my husband says that I gave in. And maybe I did, and it does bother me just a little bit. However, as I become more experienced in the classroom – this is my sixth year as a community college writing instructor – I learn to be more flexible to create an effective teaching-and-learing opportunity even when things don’t go as I planned. I call it exercising emotional intelligence. I ask myself, ultimately what is the end result I want to see? More importantly, what is it that I want the students to accomplish?
I’m kind of proud of myself for coming up with this solution…