Teaching Freshman English

I haven't taught freshman English for more than five years. And when I was teaching it, there were no high-stakes tests attached that would determine my credibility as a teacher. So I am scared this year ... scared that my one class of 21 will fail spectacularly, that I will be the only English teacher whose students don't even make a proficient score on the state test, and that their 10th grade teachers will all say, "WHO taught you dummies?" So it was with great trepidation that I faced this class a week-and-a-half ago, during registration (each class met for about ten minutes).

It did not go well.

In fact, there is the slightest of possibilities that I may have described them (hypothetically) to my family and friends as perhaps being a-holes. I hated them on sight, and the feeling was mutual.

But a funny thing happened over the weekend. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was that I had fully returned to teacher-mode, or maybe they had returned to student-mode. Maybe it was that some upperclassmen had apprised them of their lowly status as freshman. Maybe it was that I greeted them all at the door with a smile and a "good morning," or maybe it was that I put an extra dose of No-Nonsense in my voice as I was going over the rules and procedures for the class.

Whatever it was, it worked. For two days they have been well-behaved and industrious. They have brought their materials to class and returned their parent contact sheets. They've worked hard when I've asked them to and sat quietly when they've finished.

Surely it's premature to suggest that, after only two days of class, that I might actually enjoy this bunch. But ... man, I hope not.

1 comment:

Dreamy said...

Maybe it was just you :) That's awesome that things are going well after all your sweating.


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