Jan 31, 2009

an apology

I have a student who has barely turned in an assignment in two years. He falls asleep in class. He falls down asleep while standing. Often the only way to know he has been in class is to look around and see all of his belongings there after he has left. Sadly, this is his m.o. in all of his classes.

Each week on Thursday we do a dictation. I read five sentences in Spanish and students do their best to write what they hear. I read the entire passage two times, and then I project the correct version on the screen. Students are to then edit their paper, underlining their errors and writing the entire correct word directly beneat the original error. To that end, I have students skip two blank lines between every line of text. One blank line is for their edits, and the second one is for my eyes, and also to give me a space to write further edits should they need it.

Well, this particular student only left one line between each line of text. And then, at the bottom of the page he wrote "Lo siento por no tener dos linias blancas." Almost flawless Spanish. It means: I am sorry for not having two blank lines.

1. He noticed he hadn't followed directions.
2. He cared enough to apologize.
3. He did it in Spanish!

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