Friday, January 15, 2010
It's the oldest line in the book, but it never fails to pop out. Why aren't you writing? Everyone else is writing, maybe. At least I hope so. I'm thinking.
But if you were really thinking, you'd be writing. That, in fact, is evidence you're thinking. But how do you prove a kid isn't thinking? And why is it that it's invariably the kids who don't do any work who are thinking? What are they thinking about? Well, call me cynical, but they're thinking about the girls and boys they like, the game on Xbox where you kill everybody, what they're going to do after school, how they hate to write, and when, oh when, they are going to get something to eat, even if it's that drek from the cafeteria.
I've told kids, "No thinking, just writing," but the kids who actually think (albeit not about the task at hand) reject that, asking, "How can I write if I don't think?" It's a pretty good question. Now I say, "OK, fine. I'm thinking about giving you a hundred on your report card. Remember that, because your actual grade is going to be half that."
But it's the thought that counts.