Create a simile/metaphor/analogy that describes your teaching philosophy.
I'm tired. It's the end of the school day on a Thursday, but I'm scheduled to run the scoreboard at the 7th grade girls' volleyball game, so I won't be home until after six tonight. I've been conducting individual writing conferences with 8th graders all week while others have writing time, and keeping the large group on task while focusing on individuals can be a management nightmare. I've pushed, dragged, and pulled 7th graders through their first awkward-baby-deer attempts at citing sources in a formal research paper, and we're ready to move on to something more fun. And now I have to think about my teaching philosophy? Thanks for the reminder on how much prompts really suck sometimes, te@chthought. I'm sure I could come up with something more inspired if I had the energy, but I don't. Not today.
Today I feel like a used-car salesman. I spend my days selling reading, writing, speaking, and listening and how these things can make your life better and how much you need them. Sometimes it's with joyful exuberance, all smiles and manic energy. Sometimes it's the hard-sell, the logical reasoning of why you need this. Sometimes it's with humor and allowing myself to be the easy target so you won't suspect that I'm secretly drawing you in. Sometimes it's warnings of what can happen if you don't develop these skills. But it's always a transaction. I'm selling and this is my showroom.
I can show you classics and how they last through the generations if you take care of them. I can show you bright, shiny, and new if you're looking for something current. I can show you how to hone your skills and use them to fix up your writing to keep the machine running for a long time.
Most of the customers are reluctant, but I keep working. As long as they come to the showroom each day, I have a chance at a sale. Some are easy, some take months (or years!) of persuasion. I'll keep selling as long as a few repeat customers keep buying.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.