Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Teaching Funnies

The year was 2010.  I was teaching at an alternative high school.  My students had spent the year trying to figure out "what" I was.  You see, I'm somewhat racially ambiguous.  The majority of the students had come to understand that I am more than one race but I'd refused to let them know what the mix was.

Cut to the last period of the day.  I'm standing at my doorway with my students waiting to release them.  One of my students, a delightful girl, though she always came across like a valley girl, says to me,

"Ms. F you're tan."  I agreed, yes, I am.

"Where do you go tanning?" she asked me.

"I don't, it's my ethnic make up," I responded.

"Where do you buy that?" she asked.  I promptly doubled over in laughter.

Her friend, another great student, slaps her on the shoulder and states, "You can't buy it.  She means it has to do with her race!"

I couldn't make these things up if I tried.  I love teaching.

And for your viewing enjoyment- here's a picture of me from my first full year of teaching. I was 25.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Teaching Writing- The Paper Proposal

Teaching research and writing at the college level has been interesting.  I am having to learn to switch from my mode of writing about literature to writing purely research based papers about other academic disciplines.  I am enjoying what I'm doing but I will admit, I miss teaching literature.  I'm trying to figure out how, in the future, I can incorporate some literature into my courses.

As I go I'm creating my own resources to facilitate the learning process for my students.  I've started to post some of these resources on my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  If you're a high school teacher preparing your students for college and teaching them how to conduct academic resources these should be very useful to you.  They are also of course great for first year writing programs at the college level.

The first piece of my research paper with my students is a paper proposal. In the proposal my students must do several things:
  1. Introduce their topic and its significance- i.e. why do they want to research this topic and what they hope to accomplish with their research
  2. Identify 1-3 research questions on which to focus their research
  3. State their intended audience- i.e. who will benefit from this research, who are they trying to reach
  4. Describe their proposed methodology- i.e. how do they intend to conduct this research
By going through this process I find my students become much more focused and are better prepared to actually complete the research required for either a project or research paper.

To save you some time I've put my informational sheets, assignment sheets, and rubrics in a handy packet for you to purchase at Teachers Pay Teachers.