Lots of teachers give advice to student-teachers, along the lines of: keep stuff you get from students, cards, etc, and look at it when you are having a bad day.
My mom, also, is always telling me "write that down! You want to remember that stuff!" and I usually don't write it down, but now, almost 12 weeks into my internship, with only 5 weeks left, I decided to make a list of stuff that has happened that I want to remember/that I can look at when I need to.
In no particular order, here are some awesome things I love about being an English teacher:
- to wrap up a unit on "Joy and Happiness," I asked the students to write me a paragraph telling me which of the things we studied (out of poems, short stories, songs, videos, and essays) most fit in with their personal philosophy of happiness.
a particularly thoughtful and eloquent grade 12 student wrote, " In my opinion, I think that my philosophy of happiness is a combination of all the literatures that we used throughout the unit. Every single piece of them reflects a definite part of how I define happiness. In fact, these literatures help me to pick a specific position for happiness and enhance how I define it."
Wow! She wasn't sucking up, either, because I told the students that they could talk about how none of the things we studied fit with their philosophy. What I love about her response is that it is basically the purpose of studying literature - finding meaning in it and using it to understand the world and your life.
- in the library one day, when students were picking new novels for silent reading, a student asked me if I had read The Hunger Games. I said yes, and that I really enjoyed it. He replied, "Aw man, I can't wait to read it." and then told me that he had requested it at the school library but his name was far down on the list and he had been wanted to read it since the beginning of the school year. I told him, "I have the series! I'll lend it to you!" and his face just lit up. I brought him the first book the next day and he read it in 2 days. He's now on the second book, and my biggest challenge is convincing him to stop silent reading after the allotted 10 minutes are over and to get to work on whatever we are doing that day.
- last night was the opening night of the school musical, which I've been helping out with. I'm working backstage, and I'm in charge of props and set changes and things. I've been going to rehearsals since they started just to see how it all works, since I might be interested in directing some day. I've loved the entire experience because it's been fun, I've learned a lot, and it's given me a chance to develop relationships with students I don't teach, but what I want to put on this list is the moment before the students went on stage when a few of them came and hugged me and said "Thanks for everything!"
- just the general experience of having a mentor tell you your lesson is awesome, or a really cool idea, and asking if they can use it/have a copy of it/asking you to try it in one of their classes. That's pretty cool.
- playing devils' advocate and seeing the students really respond. For example, today I tried to convince my grade 12 class that eating babies isn't really that bad of an idea, and that it really would help more people than it would hurt. (If you don't know what I'm talking about this, read this.) I like when students get mad.
Ok, well that's really just stuff from today/this week. I might do another one of these closer to the end if I want.
I'm also gonna leave this here for my future self looking back on this list, needing some inspiration.