If you don’t want to know…

October 23, 2008 at 10:24 pm Leave a comment

We’re working on thesis statements, so I’m constantly tossing a prompt at the students and asking them to come up with opinions.  Because they’re 12 and have appropriately limited worldviews, those prompts usually focus on extremely basic subjects.

Recently I asked them to write thesis statements for an essay written about the best class at school. They couldn’t choose lunch, but I let them choose exploratory or advisory classes if they wanted.

I just got around to correcting them, and couldn’t stop myself from registering their responses. I didn’t count them or anything – that would have taken effort and a notepad – but I logged them mentally. And I have to admit, the results were kind of surprising to me.

It doesn’t shock me that English wasn’t a big favorite. After all, it’s not exactly a fun class they’ve got me teaching four periods a day. We do a lot of spelling, some grammar, and a lot of nuts-and-bolts writing stuff. I keep trying to find time to work more fun activities in, but there is so much curriculum to cover that I haven’t really managed it yet.

Literature, though… I would have thought that it would have had a decent following. We just finished reading a book the kids loved, and they (claim to have) loved the way we read it. Lots of drama, lots of interaction, a fun culminating project. I even bought a red jacket for the kid who drew Messenger from my re-purposed Crown Royale sack.

Only one kid named literature class as his favorite.

No one named English class. Well – that’s untrue. “Paolo,” who likes to be contrary, wrote his thesis statement about the worst class at LMS. He mentioned English.

I was also surprised that science didn’t have more fans; fewer than half a dozen picked it as their favorite.

Predictably, PE was a big favorite. What really rocked me back on my heels, though, was the class that got elected as Prom Queen. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that twelve-year-olds would pick, as their very favorite most bestest class in the whole wide world… world civilizations.

I mean, seriously! Doesn’t everyone hate pre-collegiate social studies? Isn’t that, like, the known bane of social studies teachers’ existence? The fact that, for whatever reason, kids just don’t get engaged in history and whatnot?

Plainly, PB – the world civ teacher on our team – is doing something awfully right. 🙂

A-n-d… I probably am, too. They say that, as a first-year teacher, you should take too much popularity as a red flag. If the kids love you too much, you’re probably being too nice, too easy. Still, it kinda stings. I want kids to like my classes. And while I’m sure many of them like them okay, I’m going home without the tiara tonight.



Where Else to Prop my Halo? Loved

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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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