Waiting to teach

So, another long-overdue update.  All job opportunities fell through, until I had been enrolled at Teachers’ College for two weeks, by which time, I was quite enjoying myself, and so actually turned down a job which was offered.  Tomorrow, I begin my first placement in a small high school, and I’m looking forward to seeing live test subjects, I mean students, very much.

There was a great presentation by @MissDtheTeacher at TCol last week, on the use of social media and various e-learning channels, and in response to that, I have gotten my twitter account up and running (with the same user-name as this) so as to track and interact with people who use exciting new learning and teaching methods.  Thus, once again, this blog will take on a slightly different slant, as a way of commenting on (and hopefully discussing) new ideas, and older ideas.

One thing I am passionate about in teaching (and yes, I will be teaching English…) is reading.  I really want to work out ways to encourage students to read, and to enjoy reading.  I understand that students might not like quite the same geeky things that I like, but I really want to focus on ways of helping those who are struggling, and encourage those who are enjoying it.  As part of the English curriculum course I’m taking, we’ve been reading Young Adult novels and writing quick descriptions of them.  I’ve enjoyed some – usually the urban fantasy or sci-fi – and struggled with the normal, every-day life kind of ones.*  The more I read, the more I’ll have to recommend to students, but I also understand that some won’t want to read fiction – because fiction is not real life.  How does one explain the value of escape, or imagination, to those sort of people?  What do you like reading?

Experience from tutoring at uni suggests that those who read more write better too.  Of course, I’m going to be working on teaching students how to write properly, and the value of checking and rechecking drafts, but I want their writing to be informed by their reading as well.  And when I think of this, I run up against all sorts of issues I’ve been having while taking notes for the various classes. Spelling is not my strong suit (Middle English is much more forgiving!), though I seem to be able to spell better, with less thought, while typing than when writing with a pen.  This means I’ll have to be careful when working on the board, but will also hopefully show students that dyslexia is not something which needs to stop you from doing things – even teaching things!

So, if you have any hints on teaching reading or writing at high school level, or useful links, let me know!

*For Instance: At the moment, I’m reading something called Populazzi by Elise Allen, and I’m struggling.  The book is so pink!  And the girl is all taken up with ideas of the boy who she might be dating, or not dating, and I find it really hard to care, even though I remember marrying myself off to any number of dreamy boys at that age – not one of whom I had the guts to approach!

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