My Advanced Lit class and I have been having a wonderful time together. They participate----they have opinions! They argue with each other in an appropriate way! They do their homework!
But yesterday, I sat in class, watching them peer review their first essay assignment with a sinking heart. Nothing like a writing assignment to kill a good vibe.
I could tell the honeymoon phase was over by their worried glances at each other, their furtive peeks at me, and by the questions they asked ----"So, if we did not use two poems, as required, is that a big deal?" and "I can't tell where the intro ends and the body begins because this is all one paragraph." and "Oh---I don't have a works cited page, is that okay? I did not use any outside resources---is that okay?" and "Does it count for a draft if it is only one page?"
A quick peek at the stack when I got home tonight did not dispel my gloom. Things are looking pretty dismal in that stack of papers. I did all the things we do to make this work. They did all the things they do to keep it from working.