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April 24, 2014


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Apathy is, indeed, contagious and appalling.

I'm not sure if this is pasty if my teaching philosophy or my stay sane in the academy philosophy, but I try very hard not to reflect the assumptions and frustrations my students bring to the classroom back to them. Instead of reflecting their energy back to as would a mirror, I try to be a prism that is a conduit for God's love and joy in the creation. "Let me be a prism today." Is the prayer that I pray silently before class begins.


I can't tell if this thread will make you feel better or worse, but I want company:


That your head didn't explode instantaneously is a testament to your fortitude.

I hope you scheduled a sit down with the principal and the head of the history department in that middle school. That teacher clearly needs a break from the classroom.

This is an amazingly beautiful post about teaching & learning & it ends with such a heartbreaking example of a sad(ly) unmotivated teacher... Sigh... I'm glad that YOU (aided by genetics!) instilled a love for learning in your son that hopefully no apathetic teacher will be able to fully obliterate!!!


As a teacher and a classicist and a mom, that makes me sad. We shouldn't be telling kids what to find boring, and if we find something boring...well, we either fake it, or maybe we even dare to confess it to our students, but then promise to do our best to help them appreciate what's there to appreciate. (There are books I don't love, but I can appreciate them, and I can enjoy teaching them, and I can help kids see the beauty in them even if I don't particularly resonate to that beauty myself.)

A colleague of mine whom I otherwise adore once said something about having to make Antigone interesting when we teach it to kids. I objected: it's already interesting. We just have to convey that.

Also...Salamis! Boring? By the same token, I suppose Thermopylae was just a tough day for the Spartans. And "Go tell the Lacedaimonians that we lie here, obedient to their commands" is just some lines scratched on a rock.

(I'm saving your words about teaching -- the work and the joy -- to remind me what I'm doing and why.)

I love, love, love your teaching philosophy. Hopkins for the win! And St Paul. And St Thomas.

That history teacher... I can't even. What is wrong with people? Greece! Greece! Greece boring!? I'd like to send Bella over to put her straight. Bella adored study about Greece and wants to go back and do more.

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