Moritz's Blog

Friday, November 30, 2007

Another Day

You ever have one of those mornings where everything just seems to come to a head? When your world seems to come crashing down and despair sets in. Well, today was one of those days. I thought everything was o.k…that I had everything under control. But I didn’t.
I was my typical “loud” self and I made an idiot of myself in my principal’s office. I had a complete meltdown with one of my best friends, while I was trying to wish her a happy birthday. I was crying (the kind of crying that makes your face red and ugly), and every time a person would ask me if I was o.k.? it just got worse. And then, I had to go teach my first hour.
Isn’t it amazing how your students can change your mood completely? The moment I started to greet them at the door, ugly face and all, I started to feel better. I know that most of them were uncomfortable seeing their teacher in distress, but they put on a happy face, which in turn helped me do the same. As the class continued, we did our normal routine, but I felt so much better being in their company. Today, I was amazed at how dependent I was on them.

When I meet new people and they ask me what I do, they are always in admiration because I work with teenagers. They say “you must have a lot of patience”, but sadly, they don’t see the flip side. They don’t see all of the benefits I reap from working with young people.
They don’t see how much I admire my students’ everyday. Whether it is watching my reading kids fly through books or my honors kids making in-depth connections with text. My writing kids taking risks and writing very personal essays that I have the privilege to read or my leadership kids giving so graciously to others.

I have the best job. I get to come everyday, work with people I love, and see teenagers grow and learn unlike any other members of the population. Of course this sounds idealistic (yes, I am leaving out all of the thorns in my side), but after the morning that I have had, I am truly lucky to be a High School Teacher.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Their thinking is changing.

I am constantly amazed by the insight that my students give me on a daily basis. I guess that I have been so programed by the daily grind to expect somewhat complacent students, that their enthusiasm has surpassed all of my expectations.
Anne and I have been giving an in class assignment for the end of Fahrenheit 451 for the last couple of years. This year I am really pushing my students to go beyond what Bradbury is literally writing.
I had a lesson planned last week that didn't fit into the way our discussion was going. Instead, I asked students to turn to a random page in the novel and I asked them to read it to themselves and then stop when they got to a passage that they believed was extremely poignant and thoughtful. About 95 percent of my students all came to sentences that they believed were about more than what was literally written. We talked about why Bradbury was writing the novel and what his purpose was beyond the basic plotline. My students really seemed to understand that there is so much more in the literature than what meets the eye.
I am excited to set in motion the desire to look for more in text. My students are starting to "dig deeper" for comprehension beyond the general language and I am thrilled.