begin by learning

This is the first post from my "teacher blog" I started for my classroom. I'm determined this year to include more technology - more innovative techniques - within my instruction. Figured getting the kids to make their own blogs & writing [with] them would be a good start. ________________

It's like clockwork.

Every year, my inspiration slowly creeps into this morning monster - begging me to get my lazy self out of bed and write. This is how I know when school is just around the corner. I mean, you're not going to find me waking up at 4:45am during the summer unless I'm catching a plane to some distant land....

So I do with this muse the best thing I know - I use it. I sit down at the computer, rest my hands on the keyboard, and wait...eventually the words begin to flow.

Yesterday I read a blog post of a teacher who I admire. He spoke about who we are as teachers - and what it takes to make it in this profession. He said something I found inherently brilliant: begin by learning. Begin by learning, and never stop.

Curiosity races through my veins most days. I think it may be the storyteller in me. I look at a person walking down the street and I wonder where he has been...what his story is...where he hopes to go. I hear of a new novel and I'm immediately drawn to the plot - how did the author think of this? Was it a dream? Has it been festering inside for years? How long did it take for her to write it?

And then there's teaching. Who will I have this year? What will our discussions bring? Will the students like the books we read? Will they even care at all? Most importantly: how can I be the best teacher for these teenagers sitting in front of me - waiting for me to speak?

It's a tough job - a rewarding one, but a tough responsibility. Learning is essential. I constantly need to be reading...writing...researching...soaking in everything I hear about AP Literature in order to effectively turn around and get my students - you guys - to start thinking on your own.

I know it's the beginning of a new year. My clock says 6:37am and I'm already at the school - brainstorming, creating, drafting, dreaming...my biggest hope for this year is that you use this first week as a catalyst. Storytelling - in all its wonder - is the backbone of civilization. We will begin by learning what it means to find stories that resonate with us - and why stories grotesque in nature mirror our life so closely. We will begin by learning to soak in the words of an author and allow the how and what to simmer for a while. We will begin by learning the value of setting pen to paper and writing our own story - fictional or based on our perception of reality.

We will begin....and we won't ever stop.

________________

What teacher do you most remember from high school? What is it about him/her that you appreciated the most?

Posted on August 19, 2010 .