Monday, June 15, 2009

Teaching English 21--Day One

Today was the first day of the five-week summer semester, and many students attended. They seem eager enough, but it is always difficult on the first day. I expect there to be books in the bookstore, students who are motivated, and so on. The first part of the bargain--books--are not available, and that makes me very uncomfortable. To have to wait a couple of weeks is silly and demeaning for the students and the teacher, and I am angry that this has happened again. From now on, I am going to walk my orders over and make sure they get inputted immediately. Relying on other teachers or the bookstore staff is just not optimal.

As for the eagerness of students, that is always a plus. I know how to keep that excitement going--by making the class challenging and not accepting mediocrity. Students in English 21 have much to learn, and their skills have to be sharpened immediately. I don't know how many are willing to do the kind of hard work necessary to make this happen for themselves. It has rewards, but only if they stick with it. They won't even know the rewards until years from now when they can actually write decent material that others enjoy reading. So... we'll see.

I have been doing this long enough to have a backup plan. I have things for students to read and react to, and I can show them samples of good writing and discuss the elements of good writing. In a way, having limited choices makes my job easier. I don't have to explain so much, and I won't feel let down when the students don't read what they are supposed to be reading. So... there is that challenge.

I can already see that only a few people have visited the blogsite. So... my hopes are somewhat dashed. But I will persevere and write...

more another day.

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