Monday, March 4, 2013

Sucky ass teacher

Let me be honest, there's not a lot of things in which I excel.  I'm not a great athlete, not a great artist (okay a BAD artist), not a genius.  I'm just sort of mediocre.  Which I'm cool with, I live a very happy life being mediocre.  Mediocrity is totally underrated.

But there's at least one thing I'm really good at- being a teacher.

I'm only in my 3rd year of teaching so of course I have tons and TONS to learn, but I feel like for a third year teacher, I'm doing a pretty banging job.  I'm great with classroom management (aka- keeping those brats quiet and orderly), I'm great with building relationships with the kids (in my own sarcastic way), I'm totally cool with asking questions when I don't know what to do, and I know and love my content area- biology.

And I'm proud to be a good teacher.  I went into education not because of some inspiring teacher I had who made me want to be better.  No.  I went into education because I remember sitting in classes thinking "I could do better than this"  And so I did.  I wanted to be a teacher so maybe the kids would have one less sucky ass teacher to deal with every day at school.

But now I've become the sucky ass teacher.  In English.

I told my director I didn't want to do it, I didn't feel comfortable, and I had no experience.  It didn't matter.  I've been teaching English for about a month now and I'm just freaking terrible at it.  Part of it is because I have no idea what I'm doing and part of it is because I find it so freaking boring I can barely stand it.  I feel like a failure and I hate that I'm letting myself and the kids down.

In my biology and even dopey little kid science classes I have so much more enthusiasm, so much more energy, so many awesome projects and experiments.  English is like "let's read this boring-ass two page story and try to make it into a full 80 minute class somehow..."

So I've made an executive decision to read a book as a class.  I'm going to pick stories I want to read and we're going to analyze them.  I think this will help because the stories in the textbook are so short and so boring and so awful...  I can easily go over parts of figurative speech, grammar, etc while reading an awesome story.  Instead of a POS about some blind guy in a tower.  I'm going to start with some Kurt Vonnegut for the hell of it, and then go into Edgar Allan Poe because he's a nut job and that's always fun.  The kids seem to think they're up for Shakespeare but I sort of doubt it.  I might give them a list of books and they can pick one next Monday.  Then I'll have about 3 weeks to re-read (or read!) it before we actually start discussing it in the classroom.

I hope I get better.  I hate being the boring class.

Props to Project Gutenberg for providing me with so many free online books and stories to choose from!


Teresa said...

There's also Good luck!

Alex said...

I think your idea is genius. Rock on! I say this a lot, but... you might try Harry Potter. The language is simple enough for new language learners, but the story is interesting enough for anyone from kids on up into adulthood. There's also Charlotte's Web, and I always enjoyed "Tiki Tiki Tembo" (though that's a short one).

In any case, researching your list of books should be a lot of fun! Much better than the stupid text book, by MILES. The whole point is to get them to WANT to read. Give them that, and they'll keep teaching themselves long after you're gone.