Saturday, November 2, 2013

Spice of Life

  • “I like to read nonfiction--it’s what I read all through middle school--inspirational stories about real people. Not fantasy like Harry Potter.”
  • “I really like adventure and fantasy--like Harry Potter.”

These are two actual responses from actual students in back-to-back student-parent-teacher conferences this week. 

My daughter was just wondering whether she could finagle a student-teaching position that would include her ESL minor as well as her English major because she’s been so inspired recently by her teacher-aiding experience in ESL. “Teaching ESL in American schools is so different from, say, teaching English to college students in China,” she enthused. Meanwhile, another friend with a TESOL masters dreams of teaching conversational English at the university level abroad.

And when I sent out a parent letter informing of my intent and reasons to show parts of the movie Hotel Rwanda in class next week in preparation for reading the Holocaust memoir Night, I got responses ranging from enthusiastic support to grave reservations.

Human beings. We are such a varied bunch: students, teachers, parents. It takes all of us to make this seething, living, interdependent thing we call community and can’t live without. How dull it would be if we were all the same; what a challenge it is to love and live with and help each other grow. 

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