5-Image Story

Believe it or not, I decided in the 5th grade that I wanted to become an English teacher (or ‘language arts’ as my 11-year-old self only knew it to be called.)  But don’t worry, I didn’t just determine my destination with a mere day’s worth of thought.  Actually, the wheels started turning way back in the third grade when my elementary teacher asked me if I had ever considered becoming a writer.  This seemingly inconsequential conversation led me to where I am today.

Fast-forward several years.
In high school, my love of reading and writing expanded.  I took extra English courses, one of my favorite being a class on mythology.  I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what I enjoyed the most about my mythology class, but I think it has a lot to do with the simplicity in the creative and interesting stories the ancient Greeks and Romans created to explain the world around them.  My favorite story is that of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades.  This story explains why we have seasons.  Although every science class I’ve ever had tells me it has something to do with the sun, I enjoy this explanation much, much more!
I wasn’t just in love with learning about myths, though.  I also fell in love with a variety of other stories in high school such as Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  In fact, I still claim that Wuthering Heights is tied with Animal Farm (by George Orwell) as my favorite book.  In Don Gallo’s article, “How the Classics Create an Alliterate Society,” I had to remember that not every student feels the same way about classics.  A good thing to remember as a teacher.
During my junior year of high school, I differed from the majority of my fellow classmates because I actually enjoyed Shakespeare!  Although I haven’t read many of his plays, I have read Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and I am excited to begin reading Twelfth Night this spring!
A final memory I can recollect from my literary adventures as a teen, is the time of year at my high school called January Jubilee.  This increased not only my love of reading, but a love of genres I had yet to experience as a young reader.  During this time, the English department decided on a theme and compiled a huge (I mean HUGE) list of books related to that theme.  Students were given their choice of which book on that list they wanted to read, instead of reading one book that they might not at all take an interest in.  This element of choice was exciting not only to avid readers such as myself, but to most of the school!  I look back to this moment of high school and believe that I can help my students see reading as my classmates did during January of each year.
Reading is exciting and I can’t wait to open up my future students’ minds to it!
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4 thoughts on “5-Image Story

  1. It seems you have long been on the path to being the avid literature fan that you are – great! At the same time, you are still keeping in mind your future students who will have a different mindset – even better! It seems you heavily favor classics, is there any other genres you love a lot (if not every genre!) that you can use to connect with the aforementioned students?

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  2. Thanks for reading my blog! I think the only genre I have had some difficulty enjoying (not always, but enough to mention) is sci-fi. One tactic I hope to utilize as a teacher is giving students choice in what they read as much as possible. I hope that if they feel that there is a chance that they will like a book that maybe they’ll actually read it. As long as they’re reading, I’ll be pretty happy!

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  3. I love what you say about the importance of student choice. I think one big mistake that many teachers make is teaching students as if they’re teaching themselves, using methods that worked with them. Very few of our students are going to grow up to be English majors, and most of my high school students found their English classes to be their most alienating classes. That’s just not how it should be!

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    • I had a 5th grade math teacher who was the best at explaining and re-explaining any concept a student just couldn’t get. It was the only math class that I’ve ever been in that I didn’t dread! If a teacher can understand that not everyone loves their subject and is patient with their students, then they are probably a pretty wonderful teacher.

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