During class on Wednesday, I found myself writing down a list of ideas to blog about. Item #3 on the list is simply the word “Taco.” Lindsey saw that little note to myself and said “Oh man, I gotta read what that’s gonna be about!” Reason #4098 why I love Lindsey.
We talked in class about sharing entries from our journals to our future students. Some of us didn’t like the idea while some didn’t mind at all. One of the reasons given as to why we should share our writing is because it puts us on a level playing field with our students. If we can show them that we were once awkward 14 year olds or had a horrible break up or whatever, then they will be inspired to write and share bits of themselves, too. High school students love when they can see their teacher as a human being; someone that messes up and makes a fool of themselves.
Story time: I remember being super nervous for starting my “O&P” at Chadron High. I was trying to tell the students that I liked talking, but I didn’t like public speaking. It ended up coming out as “I don’t like public speaking, but I like to talk, oh, about anything.” The kids all started laughing, and I felt my face blush. I couldn’t figure out what I did. Then this kid blurts out “you said you like to ‘taco’ hahaha.” Throughout the rest of my time in that classroom, the kids call me “Miss Taco” or “Taco Teach”, which was fine with me because it was like we had our own little inside joke and personal relationship.
I’m not keen on the idea of sharing some of my entries, but I’m not opposed to it either. It isn’t for personal reasons that I don’t want to share them, it’s because I honestly don’t like my own writing. Yeah sure, kids need to see that even as a teacher I struggle, but that doesn’t get rid of the fear of sharing my writing. In Kelsey’s blog video last week, (which was awesome!! If you haven’t watched it yet, quit reading my blog and go watch it right MEOW!) she talked about Penny Kittle’s trend on twitter about why English teachers chose English: #WhyEnglish. In Kelsey’s video, she talks about how people assume we are these amazingly creative creatures. Well, no, actually. I’m not creative. I want to teach English because discovering parts of English can transform students’ lives. It’s not because I can whip out a sonnet in 10 minutes or write a short story exceptionally well. Even though I hate my own writing, I want my students to be able to understand that English isn’t all about being creative but about digging deeper for a bigger understanding.
I actually had fun turning one of my journal entries into a rough draft. I literally took TWO sentences out of one my free writes and developed it into a poem. For once, I want to share my writing. Not because it’s good, but because I’m proud of myself for turning a free write into a “published” first draft!
Oh, and if you’re wondering why “caffeinated cats” is in the title of this blog, it’s because I spilled coffee on my cat the morning I wrote this.