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. This month, she’s looking to the future of teaching with a skeptical eye. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.
Predictions about how students will be educated one day are intriguing, but a few of them are downright scary when you think of the implications. Some visions of education in the future seem really off-the-wall, but others are not hard to imagine, for better or worse, considering the continuing impact of technology in the classroom and how it has already changed instructional practices. Here are a few highlights from the prognosticators:
- Schools will consist of interlocking modular pods that can be added to or removed from a basic structure to adjust for the increase or decrease in a school’s population.
- Modular schools will be portable, easily moved from one location to another as the general population shifts geographically.
- Students will be micro-chipped to facilitate supervision and safety.
- Classes will be conducted with robots providing instruction.
- Traditional schools will cease to exist. Students will complete individual studies on computers at community centers open 24/7, working when it’s most convenient for them and communicating with teachers by voice mail.
- All field trips will be virtual, and students will attend virtual workshops conducted by recognized authorities in various fields.
- Hands-on learning will be phased out; students will interact solely with 3-D models, touching only computer keys.
- Computer keyboards will be phased out. Students will use hand and eye gestures, like playing games on a Wii, to control electronic tablets. Students will write with digi pens.
- Large multi-national companies will have an increasing influence on curriculums and school resources.
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.
All of the helpful tools for your classes are now available in one place: find the Teacher Resources you need in eNotes’ study guides.
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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.
This 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.
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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!
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.
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.
Here at eNotes, we publish new lesson plans and response journals for teachers all the time. Check out our latest additions below! And remember, these items are free for download with your subscription to the eNotes Teacher’s Edition.
(eNotes lesson plans have been written, tested, and approved by working classroom teachers. The main components of each plan include an in-depth introductory lecture, discussion questions, vocabulary lists, chapter-based questions, essay prompts and a multiple-choice test. They also offer complete answer keys for the instructor.)
Jane Eyre (174 pages)
Things Fall Apart (85 pages)
Death of a Salesman (47 pages)
New Response Journals:
(An eNotes Response Journal is designed to encourage your students to read and write more effectively and with more pleasure. Each Response Journal includes a rich variety of writing prompts: some will take students directly into the text, while others will give students an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings and to reflect on their own experiences.)
The Hunger Games (26 pages)
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (20 pages)
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The eNotes Teacher’s Edition currently offers 105 lesson plans, with 3 new plans added each month. Your subscription guarantees you an unlimited number of downloads of these plans and response journals, plus other classroom resources like user-uploaded documents, daily Q&A, and thousands of study guides. For more information on the Teacher’s Edition or a free sample of one of our lesson plans, click here.
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This summer the Los Angeles based Troubadour Theater Company is reprising its role as masters of the Shakespearean mash up. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you A Midsummer Saturday Night’s Fever Dream.
You may have guessed it, though you might not believe it: one theater company has poured all the funk, bellbottoms, and embarrassing dance moves of 70s disco into the world’s most timeless romantic comedy ever to be written in iambic pentameter. But lest you think this is a joke, you should know that the Troubies (as they’re affectionately known round these parts) are old hands at the genre. After all, these are the folks who brought you…
OthE.L.O., Fleetwood Macbeth, As U2 Like It, and every actor’s dream Hamlet, the Artist Formerly Known as Prince of Denmark