lit lover book

reflections of an ever-evolving educator

Thursday, September 16, 2004

virgin voyage

I can't believe it. I just wrote this very detailed entry only to have it lost somewhere in cyberspace. So here I go again. Maybe the second draft will be even better--yeah, right.

So I'm skipping the intro this time (sorry, blame blogger) and cutting right to the chase. After MANY years of teaching seniors, I now find myself teaching ninth graders for the first time. There are pluses and minuses to the situation. But oddly, I feel that for perhaps the first time in my career, all the experience is finally coming into play and I am creating a curriculum that is more cohesive, more challenging and more thoughtfully conceived than ever before. Let's hope it lasts.

So here are some great things about teaching freshmen:

  • Freshmen write MUCH shorter papers.

  • Freshmen can still be intimidated by authority figures.

  • Freshmen are really scared (at least for now).

  • Freshmen don't know yet that it's not cool to participate in class or get excited about learning something new.

  • Freshmen ask permission for everything.

  • Freshmen are rarely ever absent.

  • Freshmen sometimes wear these goofy smiles for absolutely no reason.

  • Freshmen still think that I, the teacher, might know a little bit more than they do.

  • Sounds blissful, right? But, alas, there are things about my beloved seniors that I really miss.

  • Seniors really get my sense of humor (and share theirs).

  • Seniors study MUCH more interesting, challenging and complex literature.

  • Seniors enjoy working independently.

  • Seniors aren't afraid of much (I know this contradicts a previous point I made about freshmen, but go figure.)

  • Seniors quickly develop a rapport with me that makes the day less lonely (Don't you ever get tired of being the ONLY adult in the room?)

  • Seniors discuss on a more philosophical and thoughtful level.

  • It would seem that the freshmen are winning, but some of those senior perks are pretty important. I'm trying to develop a curriculum for freshmen that challenges and interests both them and me, but I'm not quite there yet on my end. Still trying though. But just as important as their shorter papers, perhaps more important, is the fact that for the first time in years I am only teaching 2 preps, and it's just great! I feel so much more focused now that there's only ninth lit and yearbook to deal with every day. So overall, the year's looking good so far. Keep your fingers crossed.


    Post a Comment

    << Home