Sunday, January 22, 2012

I love teaching English, except when I don't.

I never planned to be an English teacher. When I started my degree I was planning on science or phys. ed. Then the Georgia's state DOE changed the structure of things and PE was no longer an option so my advisor looked at my transcript and said I already had enough course work for a social studies concentration.

O.k. Social studies it is! But I still planned on teaching science.

After searching searching searching all summer, I was hired to teach social studies at LMS in 2002. But the thing was that every teacher on each team also split a subject because of numbers. At this time, English and reading were separate subjects.

The summer after my first year when the principal called me to ask if I wanted to teach science I panicked. I was SO looking forward to getting into that second year groove where I had already taught the subject so that I would actually be GOOD at it instead of having to learn it right before I was teaching it. So he also offered me reading. That was the subject my team had been splitting. Since I had taught it, I jumped on that one!

The funny thing was, when I went to take the English/Language Arts Praxis, I scored higher on that test than I did on either of the ones I actually STUDIED in college. I LOVE reading, so all this stuff just came naturally to me.

The third year in, our school put English and reading back together in a course that they called Language Arts. So I was again learning some things before teaching them. (I didn't use to know what a pronoun was. And prepositions? Forget about it!! Don't worry. I'm an expert on that now!)

Move forward a couple of years and our county decides we need to really hit the writing hard in middle school. So I'm learning all this stuff again.

Like reading, I have really enjoyed TEACHING the kids to write. Narrative (telling a story) is especially fun since I really enjoy seeing the creative things my kids can come up with. I was surprised just how much I have enjoyed teaching expository (informational) writing. It is way more straight forward that narrative. Persuasive? Eh. 6th graders don't really know how to come up with convincing arguments, so I can take or leave that one.

But what I could REALLY do without? The part that makes me want to poke my eyes out? Grading. I sit here before 88 expository essays and a stack of grading rubrics and I need to get busy! Which is probably why I am blogging. Grading and passing back papers are my least favorite part of teaching, but I especially loathe grading the writing. . .

1 comment:

Karen Greenberg said...

That's funny. I'm sitting here reading blogs instead of doing the grading that I need to do. I got a job as a middle school social studies teacher even though my specialty area is Language Arts. I'm kind of envious of you and your writing that needs to be graded.