It was the third day with my new CyberEnglish students, and while I recognize that a honeymoon period exists and it is hubris to attribute too much glee to a happy honeymoon, things are going very, very well and I like my new students–a lot!
So I was helping them reset their email passwords and showing them how to use the email program by having them send me an email message, something short, something about how they feel about being in CyberEnglish.
I think this class will be better than most classes because you don’t have to write a lot; you do most of it on the computer.
This is my reply:
You’ve just expressed one of the most interesting paradoxes of CyberEnglish. Students think that they aren’t doing much writing because it’s on the computer. But we actually do a LOT of writing.
I get this every year. We don’t do much writing in CyberEnglish. I suppose there could be two interpretations there. 1. A student who loves to write thinks he’s being shortchanged. 2. A student who hates to write is pleased. Although, now that I think about it, I bet that student number one is going to recognize that typing is writing.
I had other messages, too, such as “I’m bad at computers (filled with trepidation)” or “I’m no good at English.” But mostly, there was only joyful anticipation, students excited to be in an English class with COMPUTERS.
I wish I could publish them all. They give me motivation to keep going when the going gets tedious, when the bureaucracy gets me down, when it seems like it’s an uphill battle to push the techno envelope.
Today was great. When the bell rings and we close the door, it’s just them and me and the whole world to discover.