Braggy braggy blog post

18Feb09

So I wrote this one at school and saved it as a word document and am now posting it.  YOU CANNOT KEEP ME FROM BLOGGING DURING MY CONTRACT HOURS, WEBFILTER:

This warrants a post, and it’s totally going to sound like me blowing my own horn, but I just heard a parent point to me in the hallway and say, loudly, “Because of HER, [son’s name] loves English and writing and finally has some confidence in his abilities.”

Now, while I’m sure I really can’t take the credit for that, it sure is nice to hear. I’m gonna go ahead and mention a couple of other things:

I had a mom come in last night who thanked me for finally getting her daughter to love reading. Again, not my doing, but still makes me happy. She said that she’d tried everything to get her daughter to start actually liking books, and nothing worked. Then she starts my class and all of the sudden she’s sitting around reading all the time (they’re forced to, basically, to keep up with the work load). The mom caught her laughing out loud at a book, which she’s never seen before, and she actually recommended one of our books to her mom (something that I’m hearing is happening a lot this year), which the mom thought was a little weird it was so uncharacteristic. That, my friends, is the power of great text selection, and I can’t even claim responsibility for that: I have to give props to the Scholars Program (NDSU holla!) because I stole all the books from Imaginary Homelands (a junior-level university honors course) and put them in this class.

I had another mom just now come in and say roughly the same thing—that her son’s never been much of a reader before and he seems to be getting into the books like none other. Also, purportedly because of reading Invisible Man, he’s started to notice and point out the racist stuff she says around the house. She didn’t think she was racist, but she’s having to reexamine the things she says in a more critical light.

So that’s pretty awesome.

AND I’m learning from parents (and, somewhat oddly, other teachers) that more students than will speak up in class actually liked Invisible Man. Liked it. That gives me a little hope.

And then some kid won a writing award and apparently told his dad that it was the skillz he learned in my class that helped him write the award-winning essay.  The dad said what I’m teaching really is helping “these kids.”

I’ve been having a totally for-shit semester, people. I’m not trying to brag (though I know I am); I’m trying to give myself a long overdue reminder that this teaching biz is worth it, and that I’m actually competent at my job. Thank goodness for parents. And, I suppose, for students 🙂

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