I feel somewhat like a "real" teacher today. I know, I know. Just in time for school to have already started, right?
I got my first hug from a student today, a very sweet 6th grader. Said student also informed me that I was her favorite teacher! Well, sort of. She actually told me that Ms. Hayes (math and social studies), Mr. Burdick (science) and I (language arts) are her favorite teachers, so ... pretty much we all are. I'll take it. Haha.
I taught my first literature lessons today. We are studying elements of a short story in all three grades. (The kids read a lot of short stories and I decided that I'd teach one lesson to all three grades to ensure they all know the proper elements.) Unlike grammar, which honestly makes me really nervous to teach, I love talking about literature. (Or, as the Brits would say, lit-ra-chure.) Although I do have to say that you honestly don't remember that you actually know things until you are up in front of kids and saying things like "Predicates don't just show action, right? What do they also show? Anybody? State of being. They also show state of being." Wow I actually know this stuff! Go self. At any rate, because I am who I am, I am teaching this great lesson I found online that is elements of a short story using fairy tales. Fairy tales have plots that are pretty well known, so it's good that they can concentrate more on the elements of the story and not try and figure out what is happening in the plot. Today we went over the basics, where I felt like I was actually teaching. Grammar I may not know, but fairy tales -- fairy tales I know. Exposition Statement -- Once upon a time ..., Characterization -- How do we know the evil queen is evil?, Theme -- Don't talk to strangers, thanks Little Red Riding Hood!, Climax -- the glass slipper fits Cinderella's foot!
See what I mean? The kids -- 7th grade especially -- really loved hearing that in the original fairy tale the evil queen not only wanted the huntsman to cut out Snow's organs, but she planned to eat them.
I told the kids that tomorrow the plan is to read Little Red Riding Hood aloud and then examine it in context of short story elements. Then we'll split into pairs where each pair will examine another fairy tale and work together to determine then present the elements. One of my 7th graders said "That sounds fun" or something to the effect of I'm not the lamest teacher that ever existed on the face of the planet. I also gained about 2 points of street cred by asking the kids what the exposition statement of Star Wars is. (A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.) Solid.
My biggest concern at this point is the number of kids who claim they have never heard of Rumplestiltskin. Really dearies?