January 31, 2014

All Teachers Should Be New Teachers

I have not written a blog post in a while - working hard in the theater and just not having a ton of inspiration.

But, I have been working with an intern during January and it has me thinking about teaching.

All teachers should be new teachers. Every year I feel like I completely change what I do with my classes - new things to read, new interpretations, new lesson plans. Don't get me wrong, I do a lot of the same too, but I change so much!

I don't change things because I want to torture myself or my students, I change things because I know I'm not doing everything right.

I love how I teach writing now - my students learn to be proactive with their work and they work with me through every piece of it. This is beneficial in multiple ways - the students get grammar and writing feedback from me, almost in real time, they get grammar instruction from me, but within their own writing and in their own work process. This method also benefits me because I don't take their work home anymore.

There are other issues though - because I teach grammar in this "Non-Traditional" way it under prepares my students to learn their grammar in the more "Traditional" way (worksheets, workbooks, etc.).

The real problem - from my perspective - is that more teachers need to second guess themselves, take the risk (both emotionally and performance-wise) to suggest that they are wrong, I know I am all the time.

I want to figure out how to better encourage my students to work more independently and to use that independence to create things that are interesting, creative, useful, and purposeful.

Where do we go from here? I'm not sure, but that's kind of the point. I know that things will change and I'm hoping that I will change. But, I'm dedicated to the change and to the unknown. That's what really matters.

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