It’s been a really good semester. Between my teaching assistantship and this class, I have learned a whole lot about teaching that I didn’t know before. Though I met my goal of learning more about contemporary YAL, I ended up learning more about the practical side of teaching in the classroom. I learned how to really engage students, how important it is to let the students speak more than the teacher, how to plan a unit that is flexible to students’ varying needs and learning styles. I have a much more concrete idea of the kind of teacher I am and want to be–a creative and organized constructionist who wants her students to engage in real, meaningful assignments and get engaged in the world around them.
I’ve really pushed myself in my various assignments. I figure if I will expect success from my students, I need to excel as a teacher. So in this blog I went the extra mile, making a couple non-required posts to start establishing an online presence as an educator. In my Book Report Alternative, I tinkered with a lot of ideas before coming up with one I knew my students would love; when I made an example, I added a couple extra steps to make the presentation nice and aestheticaly pleasing. In class, I tried to bring to the table something unique and listen so that I learn from others as well.
The books that I read in the course may hae been geared more toward middle schoolers, but since that’s my age group of choice, I didn’t really mind. Though some of the novels were simplistic in their language and vocabulary, those same novels dealt with very difficult themes that would lead to rich classroom discussion. I got to read a lot of texts I never was able to read when I was younger (like The Book Thief) and am now interested in reading more. I appreciated using Critical Encounters as a textbook, since it gave some very useful tips for introducing literary theory in the classroom, but I didn’t really like Literature for Young Adults. The only reason I’m keeping it is because I got the old version for $0.89 and because it has a long list of reading options in various genres that might be useful to explore in my own time.
Overall, I’m very pleased with my progress with semester and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the class. I will be sure to take what I have learned with me in my next education classes and in my classroom. That is, when I get there. As the class has taught me, Tthere’s still such a long way to go.