Making Inferences with “The World on the Turtle’s Back”

Like most teachers, now that the summer has begun, I have already started thinking about next school year.  In my American Literature class, we begin the year with the study of Native American oral literature.  More specifically, we read an Iroquois creation myth entitled “The World on the Turtle’s Back”.

My students are usually interested in this story due to some of the crazy plot elements (including a husband pushing his pregnant wife through a hole in the sky, a baby being born out of his mother’s armpit, and an epic duel between two twins).  But what I love about teaching this text is the conversations we have about the art of storytelling. Continue reading “Making Inferences with “The World on the Turtle’s Back””

My Classroom

One of the reasons I love my classroom is that it looks so different every hour, because I teach American Literature and English as a Second Language. One period I may have a class of 30 juniors analyzing complex literature, and the next, I may have only six students who speak very little English working on speaking in complete sentences.  I love the diversity this schedule brings with the types of students I work with and the type of work we do. Continue reading “My Classroom”

Stretched Dimensions

“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

I first read this quote during my last year of college, and it quickly became my inspiration as I entered the teaching profession.

As I reflect on my own journey in school growing up, I admit that I do not remember each fact I learned or recall each concept I once studied so hard.  However, rather than view those experiences as wasted, I recognize that they shaped me. Continue reading “Stretched Dimensions”