Monday, January 31, 2011
11:10 PM Admin No comments
That's a lot of responsibility—to keep students engaged by being entertaining. I'd rather students remain engaged because of the intrinsic fulfillment of meaningful work. Even so, I understand my student's admiration of Mr. Z's classroom persona.
For lack of literacy—and its attendant qualities of thoughtfulness, judgment, and vision—people have sometimes made catastrophic decisions. Lives have sped toward ruin, wealth has been squandered, progressive educational programs have been eviscerated, and governments have become secretive, mean-spirited, and arrogant.
The stakes Running Shoes in teaching students to lead literate, thoughtful, examined lives are so high that I try to carry myself buoyantly in the classroom. I strive to be companionable so that students want to travel with me. I try to go about my work with a joyful eagerness that is clearly visible. Students and colleagues often say I am passionate about teaching (and maybe a little whacked about writing). That's all right. I'll continue to bang the drum of Fun, Deep Fun, in English language arts.
Students are often unaware that she has slipped into the room and awaits an invitation to participate. Fun is not elitist. She has many styles. Sometimes she dresses flamboyantly in blowzy garments of garish colors. She takes pleasure in slapstick, bawdiness, and frivolity.
Fun is equally comfortable, though, dressing impeccably, buttoned down, starched, and creased. She takes pleasure in sophisticated wordplay, subtle irony, and penetrating inquiry. While Fun appreciates a groaner of a pun, she also revels in clearly argued, complex positions. Fun welcomes a belly laugh, but a wry smile suits her, too.
If Drudgery and Rote are the order of the day, Fun will retire to a corner of the classroom, unless she decides to spend time with her dastardly cousins, Cynicism and Scorn, who are adept at undermining a teacher's plans. Many believe that Rigor is the sworn enemy of Fun, but that isn't true. Rigor and Fun have a lot in common.