The joys (and stresses!) of teaching

It’s already Friday! I have to say, I’ve earned this one. That’s because, while most of my colleagues have been enjoying a break over reading week, I’ve been teaching journalism to a group of kids in grades 7 and 8 through the SEEDS program (run through the Enrichment Services Unit at Queen’s).

The kids, all of whom have been hand selected from their schools, were sent to Queen’s for ‘enrichment’ classes on a dedicated subject. The idea behind the program is to take them out of their regular classes for a few days to give them a more challenging learning experience. I hope I delivered!

But man, I have to say: grade 7 and 8 are a challenging age to teach! I have a renewed respect for junior high school teachers. Some in the group were like little kids — others were fully-formed, eye-rolling, “you’re the most boring person I’ve ever met”-look giving teenagers.

Teaching is a demanding profession. With that age group, you have to do more than talk at them for long stretches of time. You have to think of activities that will keep them constantly engaged and learning. The highlight of the three days was definitely our field trip to the CKWS studies, where we got to hang out in the news anchor’s chair, play with the teleprompter, and take a turn presenting the weather before the green screen (way more challenging than you’d think!). Here’s a picture of the group of us in the studio:

It’s a lot of work being wholly responsible for coming up with – and then teaching – a curriculum! There were definitely points over the last few days when I wanted to turn to someone and ask “ok.. what do I do with them NOW!?”, but alas.. the only authority on-hand was.. ME! gah.

I had a lot of fun introducing the group to Inner Critic Goat (those of you who are regular blog readers will know him already). I told them about learning to squish your goat away when you’re trying to type up a first draft, or psyche yourself up to do something you’re uncertain about. Who knows what sunk in.

If you’re interested in reading some of student work, take a visit to our class blog — it’s here: http://queensesu.wordpress.com/

Enjoy the weekend!

Posted in SGS Blog 2010-2011, Uncategorized

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