Is it wrong to be an english teacher, and not like to read?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by dillonr1, May 4, 2005.

  1. dillonr1

    dillonr1 Rookie

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    May 4, 2005

    Okay guys, (and girls)
    I'm pretty sure that I'm gonna be an english teacher, but the only problem is that i don't like to read! What appeals to me in english, is that it is so open-ended, and that students are such a big part of teaching (such as discussions everyclass). I wanted to be a history teacher, but that is more of just lecturing and watching movies (I think, prove me wrong!). Anyway, is it so wrong to dislike reading and want to be an english teacher?
     
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  3. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I don't see how that could work. A great deal of your job would entail enthusiastically recommending books for your kids to read. Your students would expect you to have read everything in the Scholastic brochure as well as on the library shelves, and how could you discuss plot, character, point of view, irony, etc, if you haven't done the reading? Sorry, but at any grade level, an English teacher must be well-read.
     
  4. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    Might I suggest another type of open-ended subject such as art? You could stick with the history as there is so much history in teaching art and you could let your creativity roll - and you wouldn't have to do as much reading. ;)
     
  5. bltmann44

    bltmann44 Rookie

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    I am very new to this message posting, but I have to give you some credit. Being a new teacher is hard, at least that's what I hear. I am a recent graduate as well and I am going to be certified in several content areas that I am not well versed in teaching. I would have to say give it a try, you might prove yourself wrong. I would have to recommend picking a few books that are on your student's reading level. I was never a reader in school and never really enjoyed reading too much, but once I started to read the books my students were reading, I am hooked. You may be different and honestly not enjoy reading, but you don't have to read "everything" to be a great teacher. Although, being enthusiastic about what you are teaching also plays an important role in how your students will percieve the content. If you seem to like it, so will they. Hope this gives you a little encouragement.
     
  6. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 4, 2005

    I had a wonderful high school History teacher. I hated history until I got to his class. It's not just lecturing and watching movies (actually I don't think we watched movies). We had two mock trials were we became people in the trials. It was so much fun to study and become that person during this time period. We also studied simularities and differences in every major religion, and had to do a group report on it. There are so many other things that we did in this class. It all goes on the teacher who is teaching the subject. If you're really interested in teaching History, stick with it. You may be that teacher who makes it different for another student!
     
  7. JulesW

    JulesW Rookie

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    May 4, 2005

    I agree...and you have to be well-read in history, too! In fact, I don't see how someone that doesn't like to read could be a TEACHER, because you have to keep up to date by reading professional materials, books on teaching and learning as well as your subject matter. In addition, the new focus in schools is reading across the curriculum. The history teachers I know all assign novels as well.

    I did want to address the fact that you can have a student-centered history class that incorporates discussion just as an English class would.
     
  8. D2theMcV

    D2theMcV Rookie

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    May 4, 2005

    "Open-ended" is a teaching style, not description of content. On the other side of Miss W's coin, I've seen English teachers who do nothing but lecture.
     
  9. litlmama

    litlmama Comrade

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    May 4, 2005

    There should be some enthusiasm about reading to teach English, mainly because there is quite a bit of reading involved. Novels, essays, articles, poetry, and the list goes on. I would suggest looking into another subject. If you don't enjoy reading the kids will pick up on that. Our goal is to try to encourage them to find and read and explore different texts. How do you propose to do this if you can't stand it yourself?
     
  10. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Like Miss W., I had an awesome history teacher in high school. We did simulations all the time - everything from immigration to but boycotts to mock elections to the depression, everything in that class was brought alive. (Now that I'm thinking about it, I had him for both American History my junior year and Government my senior year) Even when he was lecturing, he made it interesting by dressing up as historical figures, bringing in tactile items, and more. History can be a really interesting, engaging class if the teacher works to make it be interesting.
     
  11. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    I teach social studies, and it's definitely not "just lecturing and watching movies." To give an example, my 7th graders have been writing down a flowchart of the process of how a bill becomes a law; yesterday, their flowcharts turned into game boards, and they had to compete with partners to see who could become a law first, flipping pennies to answer questions like, "Does the bill get killed by a filibuster in the Senate? Does the President veto it?" It can be taught in very hands-on ways. There's some lecturing, but it can be structured as lecture/discussion. And I would think there'd be at least some lecturing in English classes as well.

    As for movies, I show clips from time to time, but I don't usually show entire films. I've shown excerpts from Star Trek shows to get across points - the Klingon painsticks to illustrate what the Spartans were like, the Bajoran dejaras as a comparison with Hindu caste systems. But I show clips that are maybe 10 minutes long, at most, and then we discuss them and the class works to understand how they fit in with what they're learning about.

    All that to say, social studies is NOT a boring thing to teach! :) However, I know that I, personally, am a reader. I read history books all the time, as well as classic texts and books on education. While I could do the job without reading, I believe that my reading really helps me to do it much better, because I keep up with current educational theory and I am regularly learning more about my subject matter than just what's in the textbook. I bring in primary sources for my students to read fairly often; I think it's important for them to realize that history is available to them from the pens of the people who were there. So while it's not a dull subject to teach, it's also not something that I think can be done well without reading.

    Sorry to be long-winded. ;)
     
  12. dillonr1

    dillonr1 Rookie

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    Thank you all so much for your input!
    I thought it out, and talked with some of my friends, and even though history is very difficult for me, i switched my major to social studies education!
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 5, 2005

    Good for you!!!
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 5, 2005

    Yeah, but how memorable were those teachers? How much critical thinking did they bring out in their students? How much passion for the subject did they ignite in their students? Let me venture a guess........not much, not much, not much.......... :(
     
  15. Caveman

    Caveman Rookie

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    May 6, 2005

    There are however variations on this. Lecture does not inevitably equal boredom. My last English professor for a course on John Milton was a good example. His class was almost exclusively lecture but lively and original content kept it interesting. You just never knew what would come out of his mouth next. An hour or so comparing the artistic qualities of Paradise Lost vs. the modern day dummed down entertainment such as Pulp Fiction. Good class but it took a lot of work. I did OK once I figured out what language Milton was writing in :D
     
  16. D2theMcV

    D2theMcV Rookie

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    While I have had a few good "pure lecture-ers" for the most part, like czacza said, they are forgetable 10 minutes after the class has ended. Also, those who were good at exclusively lecturing were all in college.
     
  17. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Are you willing to read the college texts and the teaching curriculum?
     
  18. dillonr1

    dillonr1 Rookie

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    May 13, 2005

    oh yeah i'm def willing to read those. Let me rephrase the sentence, i don't like reading for pleasure, that's what i meant. BTW thank you all for your replies!
     
  19. flasunshine

    flasunshine Rookie

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    May 21, 2005

    If you don't like to read, you probably don't want to teach English, especially high school. If you can get away with not reading a book, at a minimum you're going to have to read their assignments (essays, book reports, etc.) and I can guarantee you won't like that reading! It's sometimes excruciating! I spent my entire weekend last week reading stories from my 9th grade english students...all 135 of them! This weekend, I get to read the essays they wrote as part of their final exam. Just wanted to present another angle you might not thought of!
     
  20. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    May 22, 2005

    Quick question: If it is something about a particular event (say in history), do you enjoy reading for the information?
     
  21. dillonr1

    dillonr1 Rookie

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    May 25, 2005

    i do actually, i actually bought the roman empire for dummies
     
  22. awaxler

    awaxler Comrade

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    Prove you wrong? OK...I have been teaching middle school scoial studies for quite some time and do not use lecturing as a teaching method. Lecturing has a 5% retention rate and is ineffective. Take a look at this site: http://www.historyalive.com and your view of teaching history will change.

    --Adam Waxler
     

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