The two most demanding jobs I know are that of teacher and parent. When you think about it, the two jobs are amazingly similar. Good teachers and parents give their “all” every day. We need resources to help us smile, to add knowledge, and to give us the strength to keep on giving. I hope you will find new resources in the following information.
And gladly wolde he lerne, and gladly teche.
--Chaucer’s Prologue to The Canterbuy Tales
The Lit Test
The books we teach have tremendous influence on our students. We want them to be memorable as good experiences. But how do we find those special books?
First, Ask These Questions:
- Is the topic of this book of real interest/concern to children or is it an expression of adult/author angst?
- What are the main goals for teaching this title? If one of them isn't pleasure, consider another book. Literature is for enjoyment; textbooks are for instruction.Can I teach this book in 5 to 10 lessons or fewer? (Even War and Peace can be taught in that time.)
You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.
--Madeleine L'Engle, author of A Wrinkle in Time
This is my 34th year as a writer, and most days I do not yell at myself for having chosen this job. But some days, I yell. Writing is just plain difficult. Certain aspects of it get easier, but I'm amazed at how many do not. Writing takes immense patience...and time. And understanding of the process. If you are a writer-teacher, you know all this.
However, most teachers have barely enough time to be teachers, and none at all to be writers themselves. For you, I offer reminders of what helps writers...and what does not.
Humor in the Classroom
Gloom we will always have with us, a rank and sturdy weed, but joy requires tending.
The best learning occurs in a pleasant, upbeat environment. But groups of smiling learners don't just happen. Teachers create them. How do they do that? We'll discuss how right here. That's what this page is all about. The more students and teachers share laughter, the more they will bond together as friends.
Medical science has proof that laughter is a critical component of life. It boosts the endorphin level in our brains, thereby boosting morale. Like exercise, laughter makes us feel better physically and mentally. It helps even very young children put problems into perspective or into the background altogether. With a "BOO!" around every corner lately, we need as many laughs as we can get.
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