I have finished student teaching! I'm currently finishing up the paperwork and certifications needed to become a hireable and certified teacher! I thought I would recap what I read and taught over the semester, with some thoughts on how I enjoyed reading and teaching each piece. I'll have a second post coming soon with what I read for fun while I've been gone.
My freshman started the year with a short story and literary terms unit. This was the first story in the unit and the first story of the year that I taught. This was also my first short story by Dahl that I have read. I knew that he wrote some adult literature and that it was pretty dark, and this story definitely fits that description. This story is super short; I read it aloud in about twenty minutes, but there is so much there to discuss, unpack, and think about, which made it perfect for English class. I'm really interested in reading more of Dahl's short stories.
This is another very short story, but it's very well done. I really enjoyed this story, and to me, it felt like an O' Henry story. It has a great ending, and great build up to the ending, and my students really enjoyed it. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read this one, as that's all it will take you.
Novellas and Novels
My freshman read the original novella version of Flowers for Algernon, which has become a modern science fiction classic. When I finished reading this, I had some mixed feelings. The novella is short and written in diary form which works really well for the plot. This novella deals with some really serious themes, and the ending was super impactful for me. I was left feeling a little uneasy about the truths of the world that the novella had revealed. It was interesting to teach this piece to freshman, as their thinking tends to be more black-and-white at that age, and they didn't have as strong of a reaction to it as I did. After reading, they were required to write an argumentative paper on whether or not Charlie should have had the surgery, and students didn't have any difficulty making their choice, but I could not decide for myself and kept going back and forth in my own mind.
This was the only novel I read with my sophomores this year was To Kill a Mockingbird. I hadn't read this novel since I was a sophomore in high school, and I loved it even more the second time around. I didn't recognize a lot of the brilliant word usage, wise world views, and humor in the novel when I read it as a teen. I loved teaching this novel. This is a novel I would love to teach again. If I were to teach it, I would want to supplement it with material by authors of color from the time period as that is important, but this book has stood the test of time and will continue to.