Right. Well the classroom was a sanctuary this week for me and thank goodness that everyone rose to the challenge! I'm hitting into short stories with one of my Year 12 classes. I'm doing 'The Lottery' with my 203 and it really is a winner every time I do it. What I found amazing is how they were actually interested in what it meant for them. We had a fantastic discussion about how we may not stone people to death in this part of the world but we still actively seek out other forms of bloodletting. They talked about going on Youtube to look at fights and watching them at school. It's always rewarding as a teacher to have students reflect on their own lives and own behaviours because of what you teach them. So you know what? I felt somewhat virtuous after that one. Hehe but only a little.
With my 301 class we did a cool wee exercise where I handed everyone a story starter. They had five minutes to write a story beginning and then when the timer went off they passed on the starter and then had to do a whole new story beginning with the next starter. I decreased the time as they went on. When they had done I got them to write a 200-300 word piece to email to me. Jeez I got some rippers! They did a fantastic job of creating tension and mood in such a short piece.
I got some work in from my Year 10s that I got from Stepanie Chamberlin's "Fight and Frights" which is a magic wee text. We have a couple of others in the department that I bought class sets of. If you want a decent English text that has clear objectives and is actually accessible then I would recommend them! I think there's five titles in that series now.
Anyway on a personal note it's been a crap week! A colleague passed under some dreadful circumstances which was a real blow. Sarah was full of life and an amazing Science teacher. I think the number of students who attended her funeral was testament to this. She was a damn cool chick on top of that and there are a number of people who will miss her terribly.
Then on top of that watching my hometown crumbling to the ground was horrific. Thank GOD that my family still down in Canterbury are all safe and unhurt. But I am still a little teary about it. I look at the photos and footage of the CBD where my brother was working and I know how bloody lucky he was. As for those who have lost friends and family members my heart really does go out to all of you.
In times like this, I am so incredibly grateful that I teach. Kids are amazing. They are understanding and just rally at times when you really just need them to get on with it. As for my colleaues, what an amazing bunch of people! The last couple of weeks has made me realise how lucky I am. I hope everyone works with people who are just as amazing.
Sorry this week has been a bit rambly! Next week will be full of amazing activities and wonderful teaching points and insights...we all live in hope, don't we?