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Working with Others

Today my group of three is to teach the novel Miramar to the class.  Whatever happens, the process has already been valuable.  It’s fun to work with teachers because we each have ideas about how to do things, but it’s challenging to make ourselves understood as we formulate ideas, and going first has added a bit of anxiety and uncertainty.

How free are we really to do things the way we want?  Does Roger Allen have a preferred approach?  Should we get started before our first meeting with him, or should we wait and let him tell us what to do?  There was no unanimity in our group on these matters, and even now that we’ve decided to start with a group task, we’re not sure if we can rearrange the furniture (which would shift the class dynamic more decisively) or whether we should have people gather loosely around tables in the existing horseshoe, returning to their usual seats for the “real” work of the day.  And then there’s the sense that, much as we’re delighted to take the reins, our work won’t really matter.  After all, we have the world’s foremost expert on Arabic novels looking over our collective shoulder.

All of these dynamics are present in my own classroom, I know, and it’s very helpful to experience them first hand.  We’ll see in a couple of hours how things go.

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