"Is this a dagger which I see before me?" In which awesome Macbeth is awesome.
When my English class in high school did Macbeth my teacher tied a prop dagger with fake blood on it to the ceiling so it was “floating” above him when we came into the room for class. Most of the students asked what the deal was with the fake knife. He looked at them strangely and replied that he didn’t see the dagger they were asking about and that it must be a manifestation of their consciences.
A few of us (including myself) picked up on what he was doing and played along agreeing that we didn’t see the dagger either, going along with the section of the reading from the previous assignment.
This is one of the reasons that man was my favorite teacher in school. He was creative and had so much fun in the class.
Second year teacher highlight
While I plow through new curriculum with the seniors, and often stumble and fall on my face, it’s nice to have little highlights in the middle of the day with the freshmen.
We’re getting into mythology. They’re excited. I’m excited. I loved teaching it last year, and I feel so ready and prepared this year.
It’s nice to feel like I know what I’m doing for at least 55 minutes each day.
Coffee shop reflections
I was exhausted last night and fell asleep early, which means this teacher was awake at 7 as the hubs was heading out to supervise Saturday school. I figured getting done grading done before yoga would be good, so here I am at my favorite coffee shop grading quizzes.
Yesterday, my seniors started their Frankenstein essays in class. I figured giving them a class period to start the essay would increase their chances of finishing it. For many, this will be the difference between credits and no credits this semester.
So as I’m grading their last Frankenstein quiz, I’m reflecting on the writing I saw yesterday. I had a handful if kids with Fs ask me to read their intros, and they were awesome. Awesome! I was so happy for them in the moment, and my congratulations didn’t fall on deaf ears.
As the semester draws to a close, I’ve been stressed. I’ve been down on myself. Feeling inadequate because what my students have learned doesn’t fit neatly on a test. But today, as I’m looking at the writing skills on these quizzes where they not only showed me they know the story, but also showed me they can cite evidence from a dense text to prove to me they’re right, I’m content. They’ve improved. They can write. They’ve accomplished more than they realize. More than I realized. They are where I want them to be.
Common core and irrational fears
I have seen numerous posts on the CCSS, most of which are backed with a faulty understanding of the standards. Books like Catcher in the Rye are “being removed from curriculums across the country”? Really, do tell me which schools are opting for this move? Also, can English teachers unite and talk to their principals about how the CCSS advocates for the shared responsibility of reading across the content areas? 70% by grades 11-12 sounds about right when you consider that if a student is taking one English course a year then all of the others would be courses that lend themselves to informational and non- fiction texts. I don’t understand why there has been such a commotion about this. Am I not seeing the problem? I find that in courses like American Literature, I can easily balance informational texts with fictional texts. What exactly are your concerns tumblr teachers?