Sunday, April 29, 2012
"Connecting the Young Adult Literature Community......One Book at a Time" For those of you that have yet to have Dr. Balok for Young Adult Literature, she will have you become a member of ALAN. It will send you a journal (I'm unsure of how many times a year) in regards to lesson plans, whats going on in the young adult literature community, and various other things. It is really great. I read some of the material as soon as I got it and saw how influential it will be when I'm teaching. I will continue to be a member of ALAN when I graduate from school. I think it will make me a better educator and it will keep new ideas coming into my classroom. I think that you all should (if you haven't already) take a look at it.
Today I created a lesson for Freak the Mighty. It made me excited to student teach. I think it is normal to be nervous but I have been absolutely sick about doing it next semester. In college I have furthered my education in English and in literature, as for my education classes they have taught me the ins and outs on HOW to be a TEACHER but not HOW to TEACH. I know that I could never be fully prepared to know how to teach, it is something that I will learn as I do it. I have thought a lot about how I have spent four years trying to become a teacher but I will never fully know if I can be a good teacher until the semester before I graduate. Various questions have been crossing my mind lately, like "What if I'm not a good teacher?" "What if my CO OP fails me?" "What if the students hate me?" Are these normal questions or am I just thinking about this too much?
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Teaching the lesson that Julie, Elle and I created was interesting. We knew that the lesson was going to be a challenge because of the content that it presented. Although, in the light of The Hunger Games, we thought that it could be and interesting way to look at genres of this type. I think it went well and I do believe that it has potential in the classroom. Once we taught it there are definitely things that I would change about the lesson but I really do think that it is a good idea. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb and try something different, who else to try it on better than your classmates!
Now that this semester is just about over I would like to talk about how much I feel I've learned from blogging and this class. I really loved the openness of this class. I think it is great that TO is able to "Monitor and Adjust" when need be. He does not try to make us try to fit the schedule, but rather he has the schedule fit to us. I think this is a great lesson to be learned. What ever can go wrong will go wrong, this is teaching high school every day. Making sure to monitor and adjust is a key necessity for being a successful teacher. Although this is just my opinion, what do you think?
Thursday, April 12, 2012
"To assert that young adult literature exists merely as a transition from children's books to "real" adult books is to undermine young readers astuteness. A young reader should never be made to feel that what he/she is reading is simply fodder for them to devour until they are apt enough to handle "true literature"." This quote is from Jennifer Kemper's "Censorship & Young Adult Literature". I really feel that some people believe that young adult literature is only for those who cannot comprehend "true literature", which makes young adults believe that it is beyond their ability to waste their time reading such books. The other issue that arises with young adult literature, which only reinforces this belief, is the censorship that surrounds this genre. In my opinion it is truly sad that people think that it is okay to withhold the classics as well as upcoming literature. There is a saying that I have recently heard, to teach literature is to not only teach the mind but also the heart. When we censor literature we take away great ideals to be learned and morals to be taught. Is that not what all literature does? So why is it okay to take this into others hands and tell young adults what they can and cannot read while in schools. This is a serious hardship to take into account. What do you all think?
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Being in Young Adult Literature and reading The Hunger Games brought many questions to my class about whether or not to teach this book in schools now with the new hype because of the movie release. The question that arose, in relation to the Harry Potter, would the same thing that happen to us with Harry Potter happen this this generation with The Hunger Games? Will teachers teach this to death? Is that even possible? I think that not pushing the issue, actually giving your students the option to read this as a class novel could pose as a preventive measure. If students do not want to read it, don't force them to. If they want to make sure that the unit is fun and interactive, this way your lessons can live up to the book's amazement. I think this would be a great book to teach in the high school level but I would never want to be the teacher to ruin a good book that children are actually reading. What do you guys think? Would you teach this book in your classroom?
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
"You're going to have to teach that girl you hated in high school." This was a comment that was made in my Young Adult Literature class today. The discussion was in regards to the book Change of Heart. People in the class were saying that they could not and did not want to relate to the female character in the book because she was that girl they hated in high school. This discussion got me thinking and apparently got another girl in my class thinking the same thing, "you're going to have to teach that girl you hated in high school." When trying to figure out the books that you will ultimately teach it should not matter whether you like it, what should matter is if you think the students can get a message out of it. Personal feelings on characters, themes, and books in general does not apply when you are a high school teacher for ELA. For instance when I was in school I had a teacher that was teaching us something from William Shakespeare. As soon as he began class he said to all of us, "I hate teaching things like this, but the state says I have too." It put us all in the mindset that because he did not like it (someone that chose to further his education in a field that William Shakespeare had such a huge influence on) neither should we. Verbalizing personal opinions on books or authors is something that I feel, as educators, we should not do. Leave your personal (negative) feelings at the door and do your job. Every ELA teacher has the ability to place different works into their curriculum. If administration says you have to teach certain books, teach them, that does not mean that you are only limited to those books. Right? Moral of this blog, we all will have to teach people that we may not have typically gotten along with when we were 16 but the truth of the matter is, we're not 16 anymore.