Thursday, January 15, 2009

more teaching blues

today was not a good day in terms of writing instruction. my second class is just terrible when it comes to self-esteem issues in their writing, and i just don't seem to understand what to do when certain kids give up like they do. accusing me of not ignoring them? crossing out an excellent paragraph because it's "dumb"? what do i do? i gave up. i mean, not during class, but right after--i just didn't know what to do.

i'm trying to prepare the kids for this interim assessment, which is essentially a 7th grade MCAS long-comp. the subject is "empowerment"--it's something that we defined a little bit ago, but there's this real divide between those who get it and don't, and those who, probably because they don't get it, hate the work and refuse to do it and those who do get it and do the work. it's like the mason dixon line, it's that deep.

i'm going to try and re-teach the idea of empowerment. try and get it back into the definition and what it means for them. try and clear the air and clear the air and clear it so that it's more like a spring day than these winter gray days. i just don't know if i'm accomplishing much, and if, at the end of all this year, they're going to walk away with anything. that sounds depressing, but i'm just not sure if the teaching points i wanted to get accomplished are on their way. i suppose it's all work, and that i'm really only, what, seven months into my new career as a teacher, and that i'm still a student teacher at that?

on another note...

i'm learning new stuff about wikis and blogs and such--i mean, really wikis. it's very interesting, and seems to me like a very cool thing to tool around with. i'd love to do this with my kids in class, but i wonder how i can really do that with the kids in school? to create a website to use while they're reading a book? is this something we can do each week? we'll see. i'm going to be experimental: create the wiki for the book and the tasks the kids're gonn' have to do, and then go for the gold and say: extra credit for the groups that stay after school and put the final products up on the web. so...we shall see!


Renée said...

What the heck are Wikis? As a fellow blogger I'm guessing I should probably know this.

Don't get too down about the problems in your class right now. I completely understand how it is. And I know that you know that some days teaching makes you feel so terrific and other days you feel really crappy.

Which is why it helps to concentrate also on the stuff like the letter from your student in the posting below! Yay! Keep it up Andrew! I wish I would have had a writing teacher like you when I was an angsty/angry adolescent.

Andrew said...

wikis are like wikipedia. so, wikipedia is an encyclopedia that is open to public editing, right? you just have to have an account.

the idea is that it's an educational website(a wiki-site, i suppose), that my students can edit because i give them accounts! cool, huh?

i have a little more renewed energy bout this writing stuff--it's gonn' be hard, but i think we can pull it off!