My name is Diana Horn and I teach reading. At least I hope I teach reading. This may sound like a vague statement, but anyone who is currently in the teaching profession can understand what I mean. When I began teaching in 1966, I planned my lessons and carried out the necessary steps to enlighten my students.. Today, in 2006, I plan my lessons, and try to strategize how I may entertain my students enough to apply, analyze and synthesize given information. I compete with the media that drives our society with the hope that my students are paying attention.
This raises the question as to whether or not they are listening. Since I teach academically challenged students, I am faced with the dilemma as to how to motivate a student who has experienced failure in the past. Of course, I can’t make students learn, but I can try to encourage them as best as I am able. Am I successful? Yes, I am, but not all the time.
Since my students know all the lyrics to the current top-ten songs, I can assume that learning can take place. Are they interested in the curriculum the school has to offer to them? Sometimes they are. So the daily challenge is how do I teach my students and hope they will better readers? Do I tell them that they need to be good readers so they can be successful adults? No, middle school students are not quite ready for that argument. Do they suspect that I am telling the truth? Sure they do. So, all I can do is come to work every day with a positive attitude and remember that all students can learn. It just makes my job more challenging than it used to be. But then again we live in a very challenging society.
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