Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications

By Daniel Sheridan | Go to book overview

6—
Joining the Profession

Introduction

“Good luck!” God, that depresses me. Nothing is more depressing than people saying “Good luck” when they say goodbye. (Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye)

“No more advice!” I can almost hear you say it–and you are right. By now you have probably received a great deal of advice, from your instructor, from this book, from parents and friends, even from people you scarcely know. Get used to it. Like new parents, new teachers and student teachers are subjected to a lot of free (and sometimes conflicting) advice.

So there will be no direct advice in this closing chapter–no applications, just two articles, some voices to listen to. The first reading brings you back to a voice you have heard before: my own. In “Paradoxes of Planning, ” I pick up on a theme that is latent in John Rouse's description of Mrs. Martinez (see chapter 2), that is, her apparent lack of planning. If you have been in schools at all lately and if you have talked to any experienced teachers, you know what I mean. As a new teacher, you know that you need to plan carefully, yet the old hands seem to teach “naturally.” How do you get there? “Paradoxes" is my way of wrestling with this dilemma, not to solve it but to shed some light on the problem. My method is to take you on a journey through my own experiences as a planner, beginning with my student teaching and ending with my practice as a college teacher.

Second, we come back to those three students you read about in “Where's That Fairy Dust When You Need It?” (chapter 1). Six months after the first interview, I met with Gabby, Debbie, and Nicole once more, to see how things were going. Two had finished

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Teaching Secondary English: Readings and Applications
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - English Teachers 1
  • Works Cited 13
  • For Further Reading 23
  • 2 - Reading Literature 25
  • Works Cited 51
  • References 66
  • For Further Reading 80
  • 3 - Choosing Texts 82
  • Works Cited 105
  • References 132
  • 4 - Teaching Writing 134
  • Works Cited 175
  • 5 - Teaching About Language 215
  • Further Study 232
  • References 249
  • 6 - Joining the Profession 295
  • References 303
  • Appendixes 313
  • Author Index 365
  • Subject Index 369
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