Monday, November 19, 2012

Sometimes I'm Scared of Literature

I love to read. I love to read just about everything. Anna Karenina makes me feel the same way as Cold Mountain. And I love to talk about what I read. At one time, I was an active member of three different book clubs (and a fourth that met electronically).

But sometimes, I get really scared to talk to my students about literature. So much of my training in ed school was about engaging students, teaching them skills that translate to critical thinking, and thinking about the role of school in a democratic society.

No one taught me how to lecture about Beowulf. Last year, I faked it. A lot. I borrowed powerpoints from other teachers about Shakespeare and The Odyssey. Now that my feet are a little wetter (and my body a little less exhausted), I think it might be time to venture into designing my own lectures.

Is that even useful? Some people say the lecture is dead. The Freirian in me wonders if there's a better way for students to get the cultural capital that I know they can use to compete if they choose to go on to college.

The tired teacher in me just wants to finish this jazzy powerpoint.

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