Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teaching 'that person'.

"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.

1 comment:

  1. I loved when this was said in class because in reality it is true! And I can't agree more about keeping our negative opinions to ourselves as educators. I had teachers that would say similar things about them not liking something but that they are required to teach it. Automatically it made me not like the material- but then coming to college and studying some of the same material over I realized how much I love it (Shakespeare, Beowulf, etc.)and I likely may have loved it just as much then if my teachers had kept their opinions to themselves.