Is there part of your curriculum that you just don't enjoy teaching?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by linswin23, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    Oct 23, 2016

    I'm an English teacher and I don't really like teaching grammar. Of course I teach it, but this is my weakest point of teaching English--being why I don't like teaching it very much. I feel so much stronger when I teach literature and writing.

    Do you have a section/area of your curriculum you just feel weak in? I know I've improved over the years in teaching grammar, but I still have so much to improve upon in that area of English.
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I detest teaching social studies. It's not that I don't find it interesting but my students are very low so everything has to be simplified and they do not understand most concepts in this subject. I do enough to get by but I don't do anything extra than required for it.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Future perfect verb tenses! It's quite complex for fifth graders, and they don't naturally use these tenses in their writing yet, so it's like pulling teeth.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I hate forcing students to complete assignments that relate to reading in a way that seems designed to kill their love of literature. My school has pre-built curriculum that can be unengaging at times, to say the least. Thankfully, I have the flexibility to adjust the learning platform for students who start to shut down.
     
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  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Our professor told us "not" to explicitly / directly teach grammar, but rather to teach it through writing since it's more authentic & that's how she taught it (when she taught, ya know, all those years ago.) I can see it, but I also feel like the kids need the direct instruction and practice, "This is a noun. What are some other nouns we know? Let's find some in our writing and the books we read."
    But I definitely agree grammar instruction could be intertwined with students' writing too. If as you're reading you see grave errors, you can pull them and create mini - lessons. If students are just NOT using paragraphs or punctuation -- BAM -- there's a lesson you can teach. If you notice students aren't really using diverse language (The food is good. We went to a good restaurant. The food was good.) You can create & teach a lesson on using a thesaurus to spice up your writing.

    I LOVE teaching grammar and writing. If I could just teach that ALL DAY long with 3rd graders, I'd be ecstatic!
    :D

    That said: Science/ Social studies. And even then it depends on the unit. I could give two sh*** about types of rocks and how to classify them... SORRY! And teaching about the community... it's very simple (and babyish imo) and I just can't... I'd like to DIVE IN and talk about the US Constitution , our rights, & how we got here!
     
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  7. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Close - reading was emphasized in my first school. It's all we did, EVERY PD focused on it & then people came in to poke and prod to see how we did it. Yes, those are important skills, especially making meaning on your own & re-reading while annotating the text, but they beat that horse to death -- a few times-- and then some!
     
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  8. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Common core math. I know it has its proponents but I think that it is more of a diservice to students who plan on following engineering careers.
     
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  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    How so? Common Core is simply the set of standards - and while there's perhaps a focus on a variety of strategies instead of solely the algorithm, I'd argue that's increasing the ability of students to look at a problem in a variety of ways - highly important in most of those kinds of fields.
     
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  10. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    As a resource teacher, I only give direct instruction in reading, math, and writing. I absolutely love writing myself (creative writing has always been a hobby of mine) but this year I really am starting to hate teaching it.

    My students are all extremely below grade level in writing, so I'm limited on what kinds of writing assignments I can do. Some of the more "fun" writing projects I've tried to do with them have proven to be too much for them to handle. They all seem to hate writing, too, which makes it that much more of a struggle. It's also a little frustrating when you still have 5th graders who don't remember to put periods at the end of a sentence. :confused:
     
  11. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I liked teaching math (kindergarten and first, mostly), but I can't stand the Investigations curriculum. The more we are allowed to get away from that, the better I like it.
     
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  12. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    The colonies and American Revolution. It's so much better when you can go explore the battle sites or see an old colonial home. I just have no interest in lecturing about it.
     
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  13. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    I'm glad to see I'm not alone in this. I usually teach writing/grammar alongside each other, but this week we are reviewing concepts that they missed in their writing--so it's a lot of direct instruction.
     
  14. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    For the past 2 years, it's been the weather section of our 5th grade science standards - not a fan. Things have changed with NGSS. I'm hoping it'll improve the situation.
     
  15. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I teach science so I usually find a way to make every subject fun. Even the math and word problems subjects, by injecting a lot of hands-on-science into them. If you find a part of your curriculum boring, I'm sure others do as well, and somebody has probably put time into making it less boring. Doing some internet searching might present some ideas on ways to make something that you don't enjoy more fun to you and to kids.
     
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  16. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Rocks and minerals. Ugh. Sooooo booooooring.
     
  17. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    It's funny... grammar is one of my favorite subjects to teach because it's so straightforward. I never really learned grammar in school; I read somewhere that in the 90's the prevailing educational theory was that "grammar is caught, not taught". Since becoming a teacher, I've learned grammar (mostly vocabulary, like compound sentences and complex predicate) along with my kids and now enjoy teaching it.

    I also love learning about rocks and minerals and although I don't teach science I think it would be fun to teach about that.

    Social Studies is a boring subject for me to teach. I know it doesn't have to be, and we do have some great moments, but our textbook is SO dull. The grade standards focus on state history, so there aren't a lot of outside educational resources to pull in.
     
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  18. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    This is precisely why I struggle with teaching grammar! I grew up in the 90's and I honestly don't remember ever really learning grammar until I got to 7th grade. I'm a really strong writer, love reading, absolutely love teaching comprehension, but I have to learn the grammar alongside my students sometimes. I guess it's intimidating when I know they know way more than I do about grammar--especially my seniors! Also, most of them learned English as their second language, and I have noticed that advanced ESL students have much more awareness of grammatical terms/concepts than native English speakers do.
     
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  19. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I've realized that this year, since I know I simply don't have enough time to cover "all" the usually-covered (or at least curriculum-covered) grammar topics, I've identified specific ones that come up commonly in their writing. Grammar was never something I highly enjoyed teaching (especially by itself, as kids aren't too engaged, and it honestly is very dry), but I'm hoping this year that I can bring mini-lessons with it here and there as we are drafting/editing/etc..., so it's meaningful and not just piece-meal learning.

    Social studies used to be something I didn't enjoy teaching as much, and while it still isn't my favorite, my mentor teacher during student teaching helped me see it completely differently.
     
  20. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2016

    This is true of all history.
     
  21. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    My kids seem to always really like it so either they're overcoming my disinterest or I'm faking it well, but I don't know for some reason it's just not as much fun for me. A rock is a rock is a rock to me. It is one very small part of my curriculum, however, and I pretty much love everything else I teach.
     
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  22. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Yes, you are definitely correct. I just enjoy exploring Revolutionary places SO much more than teaching about them. Other areas of American history I can teach more engagingly than those subjects.
    In my curriculum the colonies and Revolution are taught in three grade levels from K-8. At our curriculum meeting I lobbied to take those topics out of 8th grade history completely and start at the French &a Indian War, but I was overruled.
     
  23. Janeway

    Janeway Rookie

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    But the French and Indian war happened before the revolution. It's not about the topics being covered before, it's about going more in depth - making deeper connections between the events. It's a great thing that they've been exposed to these topics before they get to you- you can spend more time
    On primary sources, etc...
     
  24. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Although primary sources are important, I would rather spend my time teaching about the history of race relations through US expansionism, and eventually have my students learn about US and world history since Vietnam. It's an absolute shame that high school students know nothing of modern world history. In my area students are lucky if they even learn about WWII because they spend too much time on early America. By teaching in depth about the American colonies and revolution, I miss valuable time to go more in depth with other subjects that are more relevant to my students and more important to me.
     
  25. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    At my old school they used this and I HATED it! I am not real fond of math anyway. I like what we have now as far as math books but our curriculum stinks.
     
  26. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I love grammar--but that's because my second language is German and learning German forced me to approach grammar in a new way, learning to appreciate the intricacies of the language. I enjoy teaching it as well--I would rather be teaching German grammar over English grammar, however.

    My love is history--there isn't a unit I adore in it. As for ELA, I like units, but I don't care for teaching writing. Primarily because I feel like I'm wasting my time, they are tested on reading so I feel like I cram writing in when I can, and it is not very productive. Of all writing, I dislike persuasive/argumentative the most. 7th graders struggle with that.
     
  27. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    History teachers!!!! I have an issue of urgent concern!!

    We have a new curriculum coach who says NC DPI is pushing a new initiative so that social studies/history K-12 in NC will no longer teach history chronologically---there is a serious discouraging of chronological teaching--I don't know if the coach is severely mistaken or if this is a legitimate push, I have alerted my principal who has told me to keep doing what I do---however it's still on my mind. Rather than teaching events/concepts/ideas chronologically, we should teach "topically" such as a whole nine weeks about "Human Suffering/Injustice" and incorporate various historical events into that category. For example, we could teach Hiroshima and Nagasaki in that unit.
    Likewise, the sample unit plan she gave me has us teaching all wars and revolutions in the 4th 9 weeks, so the Enlightenment would be taught in the 2nd 9 weeks, while the American Revolution would be taught in the 4th.

    As a historian, this troubles me. My undergrad was B.A. magna cum laude with disciplinary honors in history. I feel like teaching in this manner causes students to lose valuable insights:for example, we lose the continuity and connectivity of historical events and movements---which morph and change over time. Additionally, teaching an event like Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of context, without the backdrop of a unit on World War II presents a very skewed depiction of the US role in the event. For example, they need understanding of Japanese imperialism, Japanese encroachment on its neighbors, the Rape of Nanking, etc.

    I find this "shift" troubling. What do you all think? Obviously, the most effective way of teaching history is through teaching "big ideas and major conceptual topics," (rather than rote memorization of dates and facts) I agree with that aspect. However, it seems to make more sense to show students how economic ideas morphed and changed over time, rather than teaching a block unti on economy. I find that those abstract ideas tend to translate into true understanding when students are constantly rehashing and re-evaluating ideas the entire school year, with each progressive unit.
     
  28. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    It's kind of funny. In real life, I love reading and history. In my teaching life, I absolutely despise teaching reading and history. They both just came so incredibly easily for me that it's hard to wrap my head around the idea that somebody wouldn't automatically love it. I'm a lot better at making math and science enjoyable for kids because I don't particularly enjoy either subject in real life (outside of space for science).
     
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  29. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think this would be an interesting discussion, but maybe you could get better responses if it were a separate thread?
     
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  30. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    I love threads that evolve off of other threads!
     
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  31. Puppet Debris

    Puppet Debris Rookie

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    I taught science for years and the labs required many late nights. I tried to give a lab every day and I was driven to try to arrange them so students would clearly learn the objective. Some labs had to be exact or a lot of students just wouldn't get it - even small errors threw them. Other labs had to be exact just because I knew I could make them better. I drove myself to be a perfectionist on some labs. Well, in industry (including clinical) I had to get things pretty exact, and it was fun to see students come up with exact answers to test solutions. But I often dreaded it - it was exhausting.
     

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