A Horrible Sinking Feeling
Posted by aphillieteacher on January 25, 2011
A local Friends (Quaker) school has a job opening for an English teacher! oh boy oh boy, I thought with great excitement. A new job! A new start! kids that really *care* about learning.
Then I looked at their web site. And their curriculum – especially the elective courses. That’s when I got that horrible sinking feeling that told me You don’t know how to teach like that anymore. Heck, you don’t even know 2/3 of the books they’re using!
Working in an urban school, teaching the most fundamental skills over and over to kids who don’t care or don’t want to learn about the world has ruined me.
I don’t have the gloss and shine necessary to develop cool, exciting and innovative courses anymore. I’ve become a hack.
Think I’m over reacting? Check out this course description:
Throughout history, individual men and women have transcended the darkness of their age and proved
inspirational leaders, bringing about progress and change. Sometimes these individuals were kings or
politicians, other times they were citizens turned revolutionaries. We will look back over 2,500 years of
dramatic literature’s political masterworks and ask “what makes a great leader?” Is it easier for a king or
a revolutionary to enact change? What should be the relationship between faith and government? And
must our hero die to prove his worth and bring about progress? In this class we will read, recite and debate:
Euripides’s The Bacchae, Shakespeare’s Richard II , Schiller’s Don Carlos, Bruchner’s Danton’s Death , Shaw’s
St. Joan and Anouilh’s Beckett. Each student will be responsible for reading the plays and will be graded on
his or her ability to discuss and debate the plays in class. Additional assignments will include a weekly in
class essay regarding the play, a written biography of one of the playwrights and his work, and a final
assignment (written or graphic) in which the student will present how he or she would adapt one of the
plays for a contemporary audience.
I don’t think they would be tremendously impressed with my multiple hand-shaking styles or use of street slang at the interview. They would laugh at my world of graphic organizers, “chunking literature” and read-aloud for juniors and seniors in high school.
Woe is me. I will send the resume and cover letter but in my heart, I know I don’t stand a chance.