Thursday, November 21, 2013

C4T # 4

C4T #1 The purpose of the English major Mary gives a link in her blog post for us to read an article written by a college professor who made her think about her job as an English Educator, more specifically a teacher of thinking and communicating. She says she normally groans at articles from professors who talk about kids not knowing how to do something. Her opening quote was, "STUDYING the humanities should be like standing among colleagues and students on the open deck of a ship moving along the endless coastline of human experience. Instead, now if feels as though people have retreated to tiny cabins in the bowels of the ship, from which they peep out on a small fragment of what may be a coastline or a fog bank of a spouting whale." This is the link to the article The Decline and Fall of the English Major – The New York Times Response to C4T #1 In response to this blog post, I told Mary, who I was and what brought me to her blog. I let her know that I enjoyed reading her post and the link that she left in it. I also told her that I think it is very important for English teachers to be the best teachers a student has. It is important on so many levels to do well in English. It is a big part of the day to day lives of students. It is sad to see a student who doesn't have a teacher that is up to par. I added that students need great teachers starting with kindergarten on. Those teachers should teach and correct them all the way through to the best of their ability. I ended with, Thanks for sharing. C4T # 2 On this blog post, Mary talks about firstly not knowing what to do with her time since she has finished her masters degree. She says it is odd to be able to sit down and wipe the dust off a book that has been on her book shelf for some time piquing her curiosity. She is only in the first chapter, but has already been provoked by Ray to think about how much I let my students see of my "human side." She is discussing the human side of writing, the feelings that are evoked during the writing process, and how important it is to let students see this. This made her think of showing your human side while teaching, in general. In her first real teaching job, she didn't let students see her teaching side. She was told how important it was to be strict and not make friends with students and to wear high-heels because she was smaller than the students. She took on a persona that smiled and welcomed students to her room, but that didn't warm up to them in fear of letting them get too close. She kept her guard of because of how she was advised. She says that her students saw straight through it and could feel the burn of the suspicion. They could tell she wasn't being honest with them about who she was and to this day she regrets how she acted. She is not the strict teacher that she was told she should have been. She is fair and has high expectations. She doesn't hide her quirky personality like she did the first year she taught. She says that since she hid herself from her first class, she never connected with them. Now, she has deeper connections with her students. They know about her personal life and she closes with, "I’ve revealed my human side in an appropriate way without compromising my professionalism and I am a better teacher – and person – because of it." In response to the second C4T: I thanked Mary for this post, because I believe it was helpful to hear what she had to say. It is always great to listen to an educator and their point of view. Especially since we have no experience as of now. I told her I believed that teachers should get to know their students and to be themselves in the classroom. She mention that her first year students could tell she wasn't being honest with them or being who she actually was. I think that is a grey area that each teacher will deal with at some point or another, normally their first year. If we can't be ourselves while teaching are we teaching our students to not be themselves? I went on to tell her that I am a substitute teacher and that I do believe there is a difference in the ages of students. I told her I think that in older levels you may should keep an understanding of, "I am the teacher- not your friend." This goes especially for younger first year teachers. I believe in doing this there will be a mutual respect earned in the classroom.

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