Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A+ Attitude

When I saw this character that my daughter drew, I immediately chose it as my icon for my teacherspayteachers store where I sell my best lesson plans. It doesn't particularly look like me (I'm in my forties and would never wear my hair in a ponytail...), but I love the attitude. I'm a natural introvert, but when I'm in front of a class, I don't try and hide my enthusiasm for whatever I'm teaching (to the point of being a dork) but it works, and it's also real. If I'm not passionate about it, how can I expect my students to have any interest? If I don't think what I'm teaching is fun and interesting, then I shouldn't be teaching it.

Composition, in particular, is a hard sell. Most of my students are on their way to becoming something that they think has nothing to do with writing essays. My job is to get them to see the relevance of critical thinking skills and communication in whatever they choose to do, and show them that writing can be fun, or at least satisfying.

Part of the attitude is assuring each student that he or she is capable. I find that most students don't really hate English class, but instead lack the confidence that they can be successful. Sometimes I feel like I'm less of a teacher and more of a cheerleader, but that's all right. Go class!

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