Friday, December 26, 2014

Multigenre Paper + Creativity

In October, I wrote a post that I titled “The Genre of Multigenre.” When I wrote this piece, I had not yet written my multigenre paper, my professor had only introduced it to us as one of our final papers/projects.

Now, however, that I’ve written my own, I wanted to share a little bit of what I wrote.

I titled my entire paper “Finding an Artistic Voice in a School against the Creative” and I focused on how oftentimes, creativity is removed from schools in favor of more tangible instruction.

To create my paper, I tapped into twelve different genres, a few of the ones I used, are an extended narrative, I wrote about a dream, dialogue with a student during my field experience, notes from my field experience, I made up tweets from my academic allies, I wrote an exaggerated/satirical newspaper article, I even wrote a haiku about creativity, among other genres. However, my personal favorite was the recipe I wrote for creativity.

Screenshot I took of the recipe I wrote for creativity.
Before I began writing my paper, I was worried I wouldn’t have enough variety in my genres. But as I started writing, I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing, and I even had to create a list of the genres I was thinking of. That’s when I realized what drives my creativity, and it made me think about how I could get my future students to tap into their creativity.

Furthermore, as I wrote my paper, it made me think about how I would incorporate it into my future classroom.

First off, I would definitely allow my students to pick their topic so that it could be about something that interests them and it would make it relevant to their lives.

I also thought about the idea of having multiple students work on one paper. This would require a group of students to have the same topic, but then each would write about this topic in different genres so that it could be compiled at the end.

All in all, I really enjoyed writing my multigenre piece, and it is a paper/project that I definitely see myself using in my future classroom. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Future Classroom

Lately, I’ve found myself thinking about what my future classroom will look like, but not in the aesthetic sense, more in the big idea sense. What I mean by this is how I will run my classroom and what sort of projects, assignments, and books my students will complete.

While a lot of the above, in terms of projects, assignments, and books can be decided for me based on the school/district I teach in, I still have a say in how my classroom will be run and how I will teach my future students.

Through my field experience and my classes this semester, I was really able to get a fuller sense of what type of teacher I want to be, and I learned about how I plan to teach.

Some of the books that I hope to one day include in my
classroom library.
In one of the assignments I had to complete for my EDT 427 class, I had to write about a nonnegotiable in my future English classroom. This made me think about what I can’t imagine my classroom lacking, and I came up with more than one idea.

First and foremost, I cannot imagine a classroom that lacks creativity. If I assign my students projects that do not lend themselves to some form of creativity, then I am doing my students a disservice. Creative elements keep learning interesting and I think that creativity helps build other skills too, as it lends itself to thinking outside the box.

Additionally, I cannot imagine my future classroom without books. If I do not have at least one bookshelf for my students to borrow books from, then I have failed my students. I cannot expect my students to be writers if they are not readers as well, as reading and writing work together.

While I know that not all of my future students will enjoy reading and writing, it is my hope to at least help them gain an appreciation for both.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shaking Off the Stress of this Semester

Before starting this semester, I was warned that junior year is always the hardest, but until I was in midst of my semester, I didn’t believe it.  

In addition to my field block, which consisted of four classes in direct relation to my major, I also had to complete 75 hours of field experience in a high school. This meant waking up at 4:45AM every day for two sets of two weeks. During this time, I didn’t have to go to my field block classes, but I still had to go to my two classes outside of field.

I think my favorite part of this semester, was getting to know my cohort and having that network of people to rely on. I can’t express how grateful I am to be surrounded by such incredible people, and I’m looking forward to watching where life takes each of us.

My biggest takeaways from the semester have a lot to do with beating stress and time management, because despite how much work and how stressful my semester was, I still had to make time for fun -- no matter how difficult juggling my schedule was.

This finals week was especially stressful, as I had a combination of 5 papers and projects due over the course of the week, most of which I could not start until the Friday before. I found myself a constant inhabitant of the library, and at one point, I realized I spent more time working in the library than I had actually sleeping.

But, that being said, even living in the library for a week allows room for fun, especially when it comes to “shaking off” the stress of finals. Have a great winter break!

(The video above is a video of myself, a friend, and two girls we met in the library, dancing to Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" during a study break at 1:30AM on Wednesday night/Thursday morning).

Friday, December 5, 2014

‘Twas the Night Before Finals Week

Photo taken of most of my cohort.
‘Twas the night before finals, when all through the campus,
not a student was sleeping, the teachers have slammed us.
The textbooks were open by their laptops with care,
in hopes that their professor’s all would be fair.

The students were sleepy, awake at their desks,
while visions of words seemed grandly picturesque.
And comrades with their laptops, and music with Kid Cudi,
had settled our brains for a long night of study.

Outside the library there grew a loud racket,
I sprang from my chair and threw on my blue jacket.
Away to the doors I ran at full blast,
flung open the gates, and was outside at last.

The moon glistened and shone on the ice coated trees
gave light to the buildings which surrounded the freeze,
when before my eyes there appeared such a sight,
a sleigh and eight reindeer flew above like a kite.

With a good cup of coffee, so bitter and warm,
I knew in an instant it would hit me like a storm.
Faster than a cheetah, the caffeine was strong,
soon it was clear that I would be up all night long

“Now English! Now dancing!
Now, papers and prancing!
On due dates! On Monday!
On Tuesday and Thursday!
To the light of the day!
To the light of the night!
Now read away! Read away!
Read away all!”

Good luck on finals!