There is a special place in heaven for elementary teachers. And a REALLY special place in heaven for middle school teachers. But I can’t imagine teaching anyone other than high school kids. Definitely my niche. Not that they don’t frustrate me frequently.
A while ago I ran into a kindergarten teacher in our district who also teaches English language learners. She was as enthusiastic as I am. Then she dropped the bomb. “They’re so motivated!” My immediate response was “Oh we don’t have that.” Shocking but true. The oxymoron of the decade. Motivated high school students.
Hmmm…..probably shouldn’t use that as an example to teach oxymoron. Not to say that there aren’t some motivated students. We do have a lot of kids who want to learn English asap. But when it gets down to analyzing literature, formulaic essay writing and preparing for the frequent state assessments, motivation dies off quickly…..
Of course, I thought literature was FASCINATING in high school. Essays gave me a moment to shine. So what is wrong now in high schools? I’ve previously written a blog about assessments (coming soon to a theater near you), so even taking those out of the equation, I realize that face it, not everyone thinks reading is the best thing in the whole wide world. Not counting texts and twitter.
Then I really started thinking about my high school experience, albeit a long time ago. Science was so boring. I love reading and learning about science now, but in high school, all I wanted to do was ignore the droning on and on and on of my science teachers and read a good book. Then if I had to imagine the lesson being taught in a different language than my native language, it would multiply my lack of desire for science exponentially,
So what is the answer? I’ve decided to translate all books and stories into twitter format.
I don’t think that’s what Ray Bradbury had in mind.