I don't know what's in the water this year, but these kids are GOOD. I mean, it is eye-opening to see them in class, doing their best and doing what they're asked to do. Phenomenal start to the year. It may be the age difference from 7-8 grade to sophomores and my excellent senior class, but that's not the only thing. I genuinely sense more of a desire for learning this year so far. (Knock on wood.)
And get this--in my senior class with it being chiefly Brit lit, we started with Beowulf. I love Beowulf and I think it shows in class. We aren't reading the entire 3000+ line epic poem but highlights. Four, count 'em FOUR people in class, girls no less, wanted to take the book home to read some of it on their own. I said, "YESSSSS!" You know something is working when they ask to take the book home!!
Fantastic year going on so far.