eNotes Teacher’s Corner: To Teach or Not to Teach—That is the Question

Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.

Recently over lunch, a dedicated career teacher told me that she could no longer advise anyone to go into teaching; the joy is gone, she said, with teachers now locked into regimented lesson plans and required to spend all their time chasing test scores. She also worried about what we’re doing to kids in the classroom—demanding more and more of them at younger and younger ages. There’s no time now to let them be kids, she said, or color outside the lines, if they get to color at all. It was a depressing lunch.

I drove home with a lot to think about, especially since I had encouraged my own daughter when she decided several years ago to change careers, earn a second college degree, and go into the classroom. Had I steered her wrong? Remembering our animated conversations after she began teaching, however, I don’t think so. Teaching may be different today—the demands greater and the stressors more intense, but it still engages the heart and the mind in ways unlike those of any other profession. No two days are alike, and every day is a fresh opportunity to achieve something glorious, even for one unforgettable moment.

Students aside—and that’s a big aside—it’s true that our profession is less respected in some quarters than it once was, for reasons that seem to be bound up in politics and publicity. If a teacher is arrested for some terrible offense in any part of the country, it becomes national news; a steady drumbeat of these stories erodes confidence, creating the impression that teachers somehow have degenerated into an immoral lot, not to be trusted. On the positive side, however, every time teachers risk their lives or lose them trying to protect their students, which seems to be happening more and more frequently, their actions make the news, too. Ask the parents of those students if teachers can be trusted.

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eNotes Visits UW, Brings Free Coffee and Free Passes

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This weekend, our social media team here at eNotes helped sponsor TOSA’s Taiwanese Carnival at the University of Washington. We stocked our booth with five gallons of free coffee, 300+ donuts, boxes of super awesome eNotes pencils, fistfuls of eNotes passes, and a ton of Homework Help advice. We also set up a drawing for a free Kindle Fire (hey, we love free stuff!). Although Seattle’s weather competed against the carnival’s promise of music, food, and multicultural fun, we did meet and hang out with some great UW students who braved the rain. Check out pics of the event below. If you would like eNotes to bring free stuff to your school or university, leave us a comment. We’ll enter you into a contest for a year-long free pass to the site.

Office and community manager Brandi Haker rocking the eNotes booth with Katie Rounds, our publicity and editorial intern.

Office and community manager Brandi Haker (left) and publicity/editorial intern Katie Rounds (right) rocking the eNotes booth.

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Our Calendar of Literary Facts is Now Live!

At eNotes we’ve been working on a special addition, not only to our own website but to thousands of pages across the web. Presenting our Calendar of Literary Facts, now available to be published on your own site or blog with the code that we’ve created! See how it works on eNotes below, then read on to find out how you can bring this engaging calendar to your homepage.

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eNotes.com Has a New Look!

We’ve redesigned eNotes.com for a sleeker, more modern look that will also provide a better experience on mobile devices. Tablet worshipers study on!

Let us walk you through the new and improved eNotes…

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eNotes Quizzes: Your Gateway to Study Smarter

Did you know? eNotes offers quizzes designed to test your knowledge on thousands of literature, history, science, and math topics. Check it out today to test your knowledge on everything from Animal Farm to Wuthering Heights!

Read on for a walk-through on how to find the quizzes you’re looking for, plus how you can earn a complimentary premium pass just by taking these quizzes.

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We now have over 950 quizzes to help you study a wide range of topics and works, and that number grows every day. What’s the best way to use them? Let us walk you through:

Head to enotes.com/quizzes for the day’s featured quiz, to create a quiz, or access Your Quizzes. You can find the lists of most popular and newest quizzes at the bottom of this page.

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Looking for quizzes on a specific work? Simply use the site’s search bar to find what you’re looking for. Once you’ve reached the study guide you want, click “More” on the guide’s navigation bar to Read the rest of this entry »


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