Hands on


As the title of the blog implies, there is more than one way to skin a cat. And there is more than one way to teach English.

I think in analogies. I teach in analogies. For me, it’s all part of the “Riley Show”.

I have costumes – I wear red stockings when we read about the Wife of Bath. I wear a fake seagull around my neck when we read Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I wear horns and a tail and poke students with a pitchfork when we read Paradise Lost. I have students try on a chain mail shirt when we read Beowulf.

I teach kinesthetically – I show them how to remember that Ireland is *not* a part of the UK. They learn how to figure our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person voice. I show them how to “neuter” words to turn them into contractions. Yes, I teach high school English, but it can be done.

I don’t expect everyone to teach just like me – it would be pretty boring to have crazy hype teachers all day long – but I do expect some passion out there. I expect teachers to take pride in their lessons.

We had a PLC meeting today about reading, and even though we are not all doing the same thing, I think that everyone got some new ideas and tools to teach. I was able to take an old lesson plan and spice it up thanks to some of the other teachers present at that meeting. It’s just so… invigorating to see plans come to fruition.


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