This summer I worked at a Bible camp for the third summer in a row. The above photo is me with one of my favorite groups of campers I’ve ever had. They taught me so much about God, about myself, about youth, and about teaching. After camp had ended and I went home for three weeks before college began again, I realized something. I have no idea what to teach for high school or middle school English classes when I become a teacher in two years. Yikes!
My revelation sent me into a near panic. I started searching lists of popular and influential novels on GoodReads in hope of inspiration. I checked my computer drive for research papers about effective teaching methods. I even started compiling a list of books I placed in online shopping baskets so I could read them and decide if they would impact teenagers.
Then I stepped into my Special Methods class with Dr. Ellington. (Her blog: https://thedirigibleplum.wordpress.com/about/). Along the counter sprawled nearly fifty large books. All of them were professional development books. She told us choose three for the course of the semester. One, Whole Novels for the Whole Class, she even bought with me in mind!
During the lecture, she helped us construct a vision. While we constructed out vision, I could feel myself going from sinking sand onto hard ground. I now have substance to work with. She gave us plenty of resources to get the wheels spinning. One blog post covered briefly what is called the Book Gap Challenge. It encourages readers to find an area not in their normal repertoire and read books from that genre. It got my wheels spinning.
I feel like I have great weapons at my disposal. Two year before I become a teach is plenty of time for creating a teaching plan, but I know that time will slip away quickly. In the meantime, I better start reading and preparing myself for teaching!