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I just want to say thank you for sharing, both the clip from John's post and your response, because I may not have run across it otherwise! I'm writing down all the relevant "citation information" so that I can include pieces of this in my teaching mission/vision statement. What you and John have said, and my own experience with The Awakening by Kate Chopin, is EXACTLY why I want to be a high school English teacher. (I'm going back to get my second degree to teach, which is probably the one I should have gotten the first time, but I still would never trade my theatre degree and the experiences it gave me for anything!) Thankfully in my four years of high school Lit I only had one teacher (albeit for two semesters) that had the tendency to teach this way. In her defense, it was an AP class, so she was teaching "to the test", and she gave us a lot more freedom when what we read/studied wasn't as pertinent to that specific test. I was always ahead as a reader, thanks to parents who read to and with me as a very young child, and yet it wasn't until my sophomore year of high school that my English teacher asked us to journal about what we were personally getting out of what we were reading, both assigned and recreational, and then dialogued with us in those journals about it. I hope that I never forget how awesome she was, how much I learned about life and the world in that class, and that I can somehow be that kind of teacher to my future students.
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Jun 16, 2012