Daily Archives: February 17, 2010

Miss Teacher

I think it is time for a teaching post. It seems all I do at the moment is teach, teach, teach.

Most of the time I don’t actually feel like a teacher; in terms of the fact that I assume most teachers feel and look like teachers, whatever that means. No, most of the time I feel like a photographer, a writer, a mother, a wife, a friend; and then I remember that I am a teacher, and that I love it. Some days are magic, everything works, the cogs feel oiled and everything simply rolls into place. Other times there is a sticky sort of feeling between me and the kids. They don’t want to be there, neither do I, they are wild, I am not, they make a noise or a mess, and I lose my patience.

Reports and marking are not my idea of fun.  Meeting parents? Not so much fun. Standing on a chair to tell a story? Might be fun. My philosophy these days is simple. When teaching people who are going through puberty you simply need to keep them AWAKE.  Or ENTERTAINED. Their minds must be swayed away from their pants. Therefore I must not be boring. Kids only learn if they are aware.

At the moment I am awash in projects. I have little patience for boring teachers that simply do exercise after exercise with little imagination of inspiration. I stay on the syllabus, I do, but once in a while I take a leap and land in some gentle field of poetry.

Right now we are writing our own Poetry Books. The deal is this. Three poems by the student, one by a famous poet, a gorgeous cover page, a page typed analysis about the chosen poem and all four poems need to be illustrated in a manner that reveals the theme of the poem. I think it will be fantastic.

We are also writing short stories based on a photo prompt that comes from the best photos of the week on a popular news website. These stories will be peer edited by at least 3 peers before I finally get to see them so I am hoping desperately that all people will consider themselves an I and not an i, that proper things will be CAPITALIZED and that sentences end in full stops. It is the simple things I am after. If we get some real quality fiction, that will be a bonus.

Another exciting project on the agenda is our class Newspaper. I teach 6 classes of 20 students each so it should be fun to see what they come up with. They have all been assigned journalistic roles and with the kind help of the IT dept they should be pretty and perfect by the end of this week. I am strangely optimistic.

Last but not least they will all be receiving their big term projects this week. This time round we are doing Biographies. They need to choose a person they know; so no danger of reading plagiarized reports of Obama over and over again.

Now just think of the marking! When will I have time to do all the other things that keep me ticking?

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