Thursday, September 15, 2005

How Long is the Honeymoon Phase Supposed to Last?

OK, I've been a teacher for two weeks and four days, and I still love it. I felt awful yesterday, but I still love teaching. I wasn't prepared (lesson-plan-wise) for school when I woke up this morning, but I still just couldn't wait to get to school. I just love it.

Why? I love the atmosphere of the place. I love the energy. I love my co-workers. I love my students. I'm having my seventh-graders "invent" an organism, and it has to have all of the characteristics of living things--they need to tell about its life span, its food, how it gets around, etc. And draw a picture of it. And assign a scientific name to it. They got so excited about it. All I could do was grin at how enthusiastic they were. I think I may pull an English-teacher trick on 'em and offer extra credit if they write a story about their "organism."

Then we had writing workshop for my English Lit classes today, and it was just so fulfilling to be able to sit with each student, one on one, for a few minutes, and try to help them work out and organize their ideas.

And in composition, we talked about one of my favorite writing-subjects: eliminating wordiness. Saying "now" instead of "at this point in time." Saying "promptly" instead of "in a timely manner." Saying "blue" instead of "blue in color." Stuff like that. And I got to talk about how we should use just as many words as we need to express what we want to say--no more, no less. If it's a long sentence, fine. If it's a short sentence, fine. I'm really making the point that "good writing" doesn't mean writing huge, unwieldy sentences full of two-dollar words.

I just love school. I know this is the honeymoon phase, and that eventually I'll get frustrated or angry or burned out, but I'm not worried about that right now. All I'm worried about it getting the comp papers graded and back to the students tomorrow so they can begin working on their revisions. Ta-ta!

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