I’m noticing that for the last several posts, I really haven’t written about teaching.  Not really.  The fact is, I’m drained from collaborative meetings.  It turns out that I’m not quite the diplomat that I thought I was. 

Today, as usual, I got the same excuses  for not doing homework as I do every day.  Again and again.  I finally went *Camp Vermeulen* on them.  (This comes from Halford…Insanity…in my blogroll)  That’s when I get so tired and fed up from being trying to be creative, that I simply stick them in rows and have them read from the text.  They refuse to interact, so it’s a punishment/consequence of sorts.  It’s the curriculum that they are supposed to have.  Problem is, it doesn’t teach them how to think.  In or out of the box.  Fill in the blank.  Spit it out.  Blah blah blah.
After the class a girl was sad, with tears even.  I had tears.  She said, “But I like the way you teach.”

So do I. 

Maybe I’m just not cut out to teach English.  PE?  Great.  Science?  I’m on top of my game.  Language Arts?  Reading assessments that I can’t give because the computer room is not ready.  Writing assessments that I have been trying to teach.  How do you respond to a piece of literature, and how do you get me to understand that you are connecting with it?
We start our Poetry Hour tomorrow.  I got a lovely email from Taylor Mali (Google him to see *What do Teachers Make* on YouTube), in which he showed me exactly how to do the Poetry Slam.

It’s that, or we can again learn the writing process. 

Since I don’t drink, there is no option but to walk through this.  I wonder if the kids feel as badly as I do tonight?


3 thoughts on “teaching, etc.

  1. Teaching English is a tough gig. I’m constantly questioning the best ways to approach things. Sometimes, I can’t think of any other way than the same old mundane way. If your students won’t interact…wow…that’s really tough. If they won’t do homework it’s a sad teaching life of simply spinning wheels–especially if it’s in preparation for the lesson or activity. Oh boy! I hear ya!

    I am curious to hear about your experience with Slam Poetry. Our department tried Slam in our classrooms with a huge culminating event last year and we had no idea what we were doing. It was pretty cool, though! All of the students enjoyed watching the slam event, and we discovered that our most passionate poets were the students we’d never expect to warm up to it! BTW, My students really liked Mali’s “Totally Like Whatever,” and I swear they took it to heart!

  2. WE just listened to it, and had 2 volunteers for the slam, and it was FABULOUS.

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