Sunday, January 29, 2006

Drama vs. Reality

Friday I did something a little different in my drama class. Several of my students had left early, and I felt that we needed a break from acting. The class has a lot of seniors in it, and I felt that sometimes other things are more important than teaching from a textbook. I asked the students if any of them could tell me about a national or international news story, and most of them admitted to me that they didn't know about anything that was going on at the national and international levels.
I started the discussion by asking students to volunteer information about what they knew. It proved to be a great starting point because students realized that since their peers were knowledgeable about events, it was acceptable to be well-informed. When the students began to run out of topics, I discussed issues that I knew about with them. Although this is usually my most chaotic class, they sat perfectly still and were intrigued almost to the point of scaring me. I couldn't believe this was my class...and that they cared so much about issues such as the Supreme Court. It showed me that these students care just as much about current events as their counterparts at other schools. I believe the way the material was presented made all the difference. As students saw their peers discussing matters at hand, they realized that there is nothing wrong with being politically and socially conscious. It was a great experience, and I plan to do it again. I believe, now more than ever, that sometimes knowledge about the real world is more important than preplanned textbook terms and ideas.

Great Expectations

This entry isn't really to complain about any problems, but to discuss what our school districts REALLY expect of us. When I began this program, I met my principal and thought that I would be teaching English and Spanish. Well, it turns out that as a teacher you really have to be ready and willing for anything that may come. For example, I am teaching a packed drama class that was really two classes merged into one.
Meanwhile, the last several weeks brought about an unexpected change. As we waited for a senior English teacher, I divided my 1st and 3rd period English III classes in half as I spent the other half of class periods teaching English IV. We finally have a teacher, but it was just another unexpected experience.
In addition to teaching classes, many of us also tutor after school. It often seems that there are not enough days in the week, at least for me. Aside from tutoring, I also try to work with the drumline, hold detention, and I believe that I will soon be helping Joel tutor for the English II state test. I guess the best way to sum this entry up is's a busy life being a teacher. I love it though.