The Dramatic Arts and Cultural Studies: Acting against the Grain

The Dramatic Arts and Cultural Studies: Acting against the Grain

The Dramatic Arts and Cultural Studies: Acting against the Grain

The Dramatic Arts and Cultural Studies: Acting against the Grain

Excerpt

How do I write a preface about my teacher? What can I say about Kathy Berry that you won’t find in her brilliant text? Can I tell you that she is unique? she sparkles? she is drama? she is dramatic? she is the quintessential teacher? I can say all those things, but at the risk of sounding like Lulu singing to Sir in 1966, I will try to say something more.

As a thirty-something returning student in Lethbridge, Alberta, I was anxious to get my teaching degree. I had raised four children past Pampers and wanted to reclaim my own life. Knowing that teaching was as natural to me as shopping, I decided to finish my degree in education. The decision was also made easier as education became about the only alternative to someone who had finished three years of university over a decade before—not too many departments were anxious to take me. So, I became a teacher education student. Again by the process of elimination, since I had never taken high school math or finished my sciences, I chose English/Language Arts as my major.

The first semester was forgettable as a series of modulated mini-classes were thrust down our throats—we learned assessment (how to make up multiple-choice tests), reading diagnostics (how to administer cloze testing), and behavior management (how to modify kids by locking the door to prevent tardies from entering). By the second semester, I was immersed in the skill of teachering. By the fifth class, I was able to turn in a lesson plan utilizing all of Bloom’s taxonomy, with barely any corrections—I was on my way to becoming a schoolteacher. Most of my worries lay in the fact that I couldn’t quite get grade weighting down

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