Class is back in session! After a snow day and a week off it feels like we are starting over, but I'm finally getting to know the men in my class. I can see their personalities coming through and there are the handful who are always volunteering to read out loud (even when they don't know some of the bigger words) and make very astute observations about the texts we read. I guess I can't expect everyone to be enthusiastic. Every class has those students who participate daily, those who raise their hand on a good day and then those who are happy if you never know their name. I hope I can find a way to make sure the students who are speaking up know how much I appreciate it.
Today's lesson began addressing the narrative essay and specifically how to start writing one. I gave them plenty of ideas for brainstorming along with examples that utilize various approaches for engaging the reader. I know most of these students prefer creative writing so I'm hoping they can have some fun with this essay assignment. Next week we'll continue discissing how to organize the action of their narrative, give vivid descriptions and use concrete language. Before then I have their first assignment in my folder to read: their personal statements. I think I'm hesitant to read them for some strange reason. At least I'm starting to feel comfortable teaching and figuring out who I am as an educator.
I've decided my official pedagogical philosophy is education through exposure. So I'll be using that as I start applying for teaching positions in the fall.
Also, our classroom at the correctional facility is boiling hot (which I guess is better than my freezing cold apartment). We even had to open the windows so we wouldn't die and I still had sweat dripping down my back. It gave a whole new meaning to "hot for teacher".