Friday, July 31, 2009

Freaking out a bit...

I am a little freaked out: I will be teaching English again next year.

Mind you, I love literature and would like nothing better than to have an excuse to talk about it. I have an English credential and have taught English to 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th graders.

But that was in 1914.

OK, so maybe it was less than a decade ago, but soooo much about the WAY English is taught has changed, at our school anyway, that I wonder how the heck to teach it.

I know the basics--vocabulary. But my class will be the top 1% of the gifted kids. Should I use the program our school uses for the (warning: oxymoron imminent) normally gifted kids? Or should I get the program the 6th Seminar grade teacher loved, all about Greek and Latin roots?

Literature: the whole school reads The Diary of Anne Frank. I'm thinking Lord of the Flies and The Pearl. The Pearl and Anne Frank really have so many parallels...and LOTF is just so juicy and age-appropriate, especially since one of the things we do history as we follow the victorious colonies is evaluate human nature so as to determine what sort of government to set up to run the newborn USA.

Types of writing--narrative, expository, persuasive. I think the district gives the school outlines, and the teacher I am replacing gave me units she has developed, and she was awesome. But lordy, it's been a loooonnnngggg time since I taught How to Write a Report. BC, even (Before Computers).

And I won't have any (here it comes again) normally gifted this year. I'll have three classes of regular history, the abnormally gifted English class, and the same a.g. kids for history. I'm really quite excited about having the a.g. kids for two classes back-to-back. I just pray I can challenge and reach and excite and really educate all these 13 year olds. Well, if earnestness and effort count for anything, then there's at least that.