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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Check Out the New Teacher Resources in eNotes’ Study Guides!

All of the helpful tools for your classes are now available in one place: find the Teacher Resources you need in eNotes’ study guides.

Plus, grab a discount to the eNotes Teacher’s Edition with the 15% off coupon included in this post! Read on for more details.

Recently, we received feedback from an eNotes customer to let us know that teachers needed an easier way to find the resources they were looking for on the site – items such as lesson plans, response journals, and quizzes in the given titles they teach. So, we listened! eNotes’ study guides now contain an area devoted just to teachers, meaning it’s easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for to help you teach smarter.

An English teacher covering To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, can now find lesson plans and a variety of quizzes listed in one place.

tkamThis gives quick and easy access to two kinds of lesson plans: eNotes’ original documents, which include our own lesson plans and extensive response journals, and lesson plans available from other publishers in eNotes’ document store, many of which are free.

Download unlimited lesson plans for one discounted rate

eNotes’ lesson plans are expert, teacher-created resources that can be purchased individually or downloaded for free by subscribers to the eNotes Teacher’s Edition all-access pass. And now you can grab that special edition pass with a great discount!

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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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One Teacher’s Most Important Lesson: How to Save a Life

In a common core world where teaching is sometimes more concerned with evaluating pupils’ aptitudes for test-taking than with evaluating their well-being, one teacher has developed an ingenious method of tracking her children’s thoughts and feelings, and possibly saving lives in the process.

lonely child

On Glennon Doyle Merton’s “Momastery” blog, she writes of her son’s math teacher, an unnamed, unsung hero. What makes her so? One afternoon, Merton dropped by her son’s fifth-grade classroom for help on how to better guide him with his homework, and she and his teacher got to talking. After some time they moved on from methods of long division to philosophies of teaching, both agreeing that “subjects like math and reading are the least important things that are learned in a classroom,” that we owe it to students to instill in them kindness, compassion, and bravery above all. And that’s when this teacher shared a secret method with Merton.

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