Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SLANT -- and how to be the Professor's Pet

A couple of years ago there was a New York Times Magazine story (and a reference to it in David Brooks' column) about successful inner-city charter schools whose pupils are required to SLANT -- Sit up, Listen, Ask questions, Nod, and Track the teacher with their eyes.

This behavior, say educators, is intuitively understood by middle-class kids but must be specifically itemized for those from less advantaged backgrounds.

At one point in the Times' story, the teacher asked the kids to affect the "normal school look." They immediately slouched in their seats and started talking, goofing off and staring into space. The kids, wrote Paul Tough, "seem to be experiencing the pleasure of being let in on a joke."

On a similar theme, the Key Club magazine, Keynotes, ran a feature "Professor's Pet -- High school rules won't cut it. Here are eight tips for making the grade in college." Here again, these tips aren't the Secrets of Dendur, but they can be valuable for kids getting ready for the new expectations of college.

To be the Prof's Pet --

  1. Show up!
  2. Make sure the professor knows you
  3. Be at the head of the class
  4. Prepare
  5. Participate
  6. Take advantage of office hours **(my favorite, discovered a couple of years late)
  7. Keep you attitude in check
  8. Be polite

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