Thursday, February 27, 2003

Web English Teacher

Nothing makes me appreciate teachers so much as trying to be one myself, and I'm about to learn that lesson again by leading a class at our school's weekend enrichment classes next month. Two years ago, when I did this the first time, I only lasted 20 minutes with some of these kids before realizing that if I were their teacher for real and had to deal with them for six hours a day, I would need to scream or throw something. I think this happened the 48th time one girl asked if she could go get a drink of water. The enrichment classes only last an hour, and thank goodness for that.

This year, I've swtiched from teaching counted cross stitch (advice: never try to teach this to kindergarteners) to creative writing, and I thought this might phase me out of the teaching business altogether -- maybe no kid would want to do anything so academic as writing on the weekend, and low enrollment would get me off the hook. But no: they signed up in droves. So now I have to really come up with some good creative stuff, because I have lots of fifth graders in my class and lots of them know my daughter and know I'm her mother, and I don't want to embarrass her or myself. It feels real good to volunteer, right up to the point when you're faced with a tableful of bored children.

In casting about the Web for ideas, I found the Web English Teacher, which offers a really nicely organized array of links to lesson plans, games and worksheets on grammar, phonics, ESL, critical thinking, vocabulary, literature and -- well, hey, thanks! -- creative writing. If only all teachers were so easy to get information out of! If you know of any sites with good writing prompts for kids, grades 1-5, let me know -- I've got a week and a half to be stunningly well prepared. Also, to figure out how many times in an hour a kid really needs to visit the water fountain.

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