Monday, May 23, 2011


Over the last ten years of my teaching career, I have luckily learned to take my teaching lightly. For many years, I followed the famous advice and took my work seriously, but I’ve learned that light-heartedness is more helpful than grave intensity – that smiles and laughter lead to better teaching than long faces and glowers. I used to be a the kind of teacher who twists every dribble of learning from every moment of class, but now I see that an unspeakable kind of student boredom was usually bred by that approach, so now I teach from a different point of view. Instead of keeping my nose to the grindstone, you might say I keep my mind on the free-wheeling merry-go-round called “What Strange Things Will Happen in Class Today?” Instead of holding my feet to the fire, I prefer holding my arms out to welcome whatever surprises happen to pass our way during English class. I still work hard, but I do it in a more buoyant and breezy way.

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