Additionally, I’ve read enough books by Kelly Gallagher to know that showing your students your own struggle with the writing process is a legitimate teaching practice. I’m much less likely to assign an awful essay topic or give my kids an unreasonable amount of writing requirements if I’m doing it, too.
Recently my kids have been writing their own This I Believe essays.
Despite this, my senior year of college I began to take singing lessons, with the intent of auditioning for the local community theater’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
After months of voice lessons, the day of my audition had arrived.
I sat outside the red-brick theater in my car contemplating my choices.
Hours ago, my vocal coach assured me I was quote “probably okay enough to have a shot,” but I still thought seriously about driving away.The director had looked past my train wreck of a voice and seen into the depths of my soul. When my students ask me to tell them the absolute craziest things that I did in college, my response is, “I skipped class once, and I wasn’t even sick.” It was nerve wracking to walk into the audition on that fateful day. Looking back, I guess the worst thing that would have happened is that I wouldn’t have--and that would have been okay, too.I believe that everyone should push themselves to try new things.Even though being a jellyfish wasn’t something that I would normally do, it is now one of my most cherished memories. There are a thousand reasons to say, “Not today” or “Maybe next time.” At some point, there won’t be a next time.You have to be the jellyfish whenever you get the chance.We’ve started the graphic organizer, rough drafts are next week, and later they’ll record them for a class podcast.If you’re unfamiliar with the This I Believe essay, it originates from a nonprofit organization that is inspired by a 1950’s radio program.For me, an umbrella is a symbol of a time when I went outside my comfort zone and became a jellyfish.When I was little, my biggest aspiration in life was to be a singer. My singing voice was like a mixture of a mortally wounded walrus and a grinding engine.So, when I assign my kids work to do, I know it needs to be worthwhile. Every time my students write an essay, I write one alongside them.They don’t have time for crosswords or word searches, worksheets that I won’t read, or tests that aren’t accurate to their learning. To be fair, this started out as an endeavor because it is currently my first year of teaching and I need examples essays.