lit lover book

reflections of an ever-evolving educator

Monday, November 29, 2004

parting is such sweet sorrow

Back at work, and I have to say, not too happy about it. I've so enjoyed the last few days at home--I totally got out of the habit of work and back into the habit of pleasure, namely reading and writing. I read two wonderful novels and spent quite a bit of time reading blogs and writing for my own personal one. It was so lovely to not feel the pressure of work, though I probably should have. I never even opened my bookbag, meaning I didn't even give a passing glance to those tests that needed to be graded, but oh well. We only have a couple of weeks until final exams, so it all has to get done real soon at this point.

After spending so much time blogging and reading blogs this past few days, I find myself really wanting to find a way to use them in my teaching. I know this isn't a new idea. However, I have to be so careful here. There are so many ramifications if I don't handle things just so. I have to protect my students from the world at large (all those internet predators) while at the same time exposing them to it. Quite a challenging task. However, I see such potential for excitement, as well as learning. Probably the most exciting aspect for them would be the possibility of writing for a wider audience than the teacher. Other advantages include access to their work from home, as well as the blog itself becoming an electronic portfolio of their work. And the ability to make comments and benefit from both the giving and the receiving of such seems monumental. I'm just not sure yet how exactly to best implement blogs so that the adminstration here doesn't absolutely FREAK OUT over the possible legal issues and parental objections that could result.

Anyone out there who has successfully utilized blogs with adolescents in a public school setting, speak up! I'm all ears.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


I've been silent here for quite some time. Ever since one of our teachers was arrested, I've vanished from the blogger scene. I had written a couple of posts detailing the idiocy that is educational bureacracy, but I took them off out of fear. Fear that I would suffer repercussions at work, that some overzealous reporter would find them, that I would end up paying a BIG price by exercising my right to free speech. And all that self censorship just killed it for me. So I quit writing.

Now I'm trying to get back. I want to go back to my original goal here, chronicling my teaching this year, recording my reflections on teaching practice. I've lost out on crucial things by taking such a long hiatus. I wish I hadn't done it. But, so it is.

So, what's up in my classroom?

I'm pushing through Romeo and Juliet right now at what feels like break-neck speed. It's not good. It's not inspiring. It's generally bad teaching. But I have to finish the play by the end of the semester, so it is what it is. At least they'll know the story and have some idea with regard to allusions to it in their later stories. There's not much more I can do at this point.