Saturday, December 24, 2016


'Tis the season to review the year and my performance. What skills have I improved? What lessons have I learned? What have I achieved? What mistakes did I make, how did I recover, how will I avoid them in the future?

For your reading enjoyment, here is some feedback regarding me:
I'm sure you're well aware that Lila is intelligent, talented, vivacious, and enthusiastic. And these qualities shine forth every day. Lila's abilities are considerable, but what I find even weightier is the wisdom, grace, and poise she demonstrates in managing them. While Lila probably has an interesting and well-reasoned opinion on almost any class topic, she offers these only at the appropriate time and when they are of general interest. Lila has an unusually developed sense of audience. She knows what the moment requires and considers the needs of others. This perspicacity will always serve Lila well. 
I am fortunate to teach many very bright students, many very talented ones, and a number of students who are thoughtful beyond their years. But I have few students for whom all three may be said. Lila is certainly among these. 
... from my seventh-grade English teacher.

I find it interesting to hear (for the first time) this prĂ©cis of my personality; my memories of seventh grade are not tinged with wisdom, grace, and poise. I do remember worrying about whether my clothing was cool enough; maybe this "sense of audience" extended to other realms. These positive behaviors and this pattern of thoughtfulness in engaging with others is something that I hope I have preserved and carry forward into my daily life, where perspicacity is required and poise is necessary.

I have more recent feedback (from students --- hello, students! I hope you are enjoying your break), but I will not share it here, as it was elicited with promises of anonymity. Suffice it to say that I am carefully considering how to incorporate feedback to make the 2017 release of Lila an even better one. I aspire to be worthy of the same praise that I received in seventh grade.

This post's theme word is blandish, "to coax with flattery." Blandish all you like, these grades are final.

1 comment:

alice grimm said...

I hope that your students were not too severe in their criticisms. I've found student feedback to be quite a blow to my sense of self.