photo by aforgrave
(Or, “How I spent last Saturday”)
I came across this realization during a hazy, post #OTF21C car ride back to London. The nerd-endorphins were still buzzing through my already caffeinated blood stream, so I’ll grant that any epiphanies I may have had at that time may have just as easily been hallucinations.
What I mean is that when I first started teaching, I was passionate about English–literature in particular. The literacy side of things seemed a little tacky and boorish. I liked my students, but I think my approach to teaching was modeled on movie teachers like John Keating and that’s … not helpful.
And now I find that when I talk to other English teachers, and they get giddy and starry eyed when discussing the ways in which they instill a love of literature in students (whereas I don’t even know if that works grammatically), I don’t get it anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I love teaching English, but I don’t think I love it for the same reasons they do.
Last Saturday I had the privilege of being Will Richardson’s Girl Friday (which is probably an inaccurate and un-feminist term. Deal.). Not that he really needed any help. Still it was a good excuse to hang out with and learn from somebody I really respect and admire. Every once in a while I’d catch myself thinking, “Two years ago this was all new to you and now you’re hopping on Will’s laptop to show the teachers Edmodo and Ning. You are so lucky!” It was bit surreal, but it reinforced for me how much has changed for me as a teacher. I blogged about this in the previous post so I won’t belabour the point, but this is a pretty big deal for me and so I want to remember it.
Thank you to my OTF and ECOO friends for including me. This has been one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences for me as a teacher that I’ve ever had.
Here are some links to my friends’ (mere Twitter contacts no more!) reflections on this fantastic event:
Colin ‘s reflections
Rodd Lucier’s brilliant and groundbreaking tome, featuring the indomitable Andy Forgrave (I sometimes use fancy words to justify all the money I spent on my English degree).