Sunday, July 15, 2007

Teaching Conundrums

It really isn't fair sometimes, this teaching gig. I shouldn't grumble about it, because the worst day of parenting is far, far better than the worst day of parenting in addition to public school. But I'm human. I admit abject humanity and thereby my tendency to grumble when I find I don't know what I'm doing or how I'm going to do it.

I think it's time for my oldest child to have just a smidge, just a wee bitty slice of structure in her learning. Not that I want that. I take to structure like a polar bear to hot tubs. It isn't natural and it isn't me. And yet, I need to find some way of measuring something for which I have no natural way (yet) of measuring. I need to know where she is with her knowledge. It doesn't feel like a need to keep up with the Joneses, or a need to figure out if she's on par with little Janey at the local elementary. It's more like a dance where you need to know your partner's skill range. I don't particularly care how many lists of words she has memorized, but I do care if she knows what a suffix is, or a prefix, and how and why they can change a word, and where they are used. What's a root word and does it make a good soup? What's the difference between a verb and an adverb, and if you catch a wild gerund should you shoot it or tame it? I'm not sure I would know a gerund if I saw it, wild or not. What's a participle and should it really be dangling like that? I know how to split hairs, but can I really mend a split infinitive?

Since she isn't applying for grad school quite yet we may have time to figure out whether it's really wise to kill your average adjective. Some of them might really be nice creatures.

2 comments:

Bobbisox said...

I have full faith in your ability to teach all the banshees all the principles of the English language. The oldest is seeminly your most calm student, she is bright and will pick it up as you present it to her. Thanks for the memories on gerunds and the like. I split infitives all the time; we are get used to it :O

Bobbisox said...

OH, and it would be nice to re-read my comment for spelling errors before I send it too. LOL, sorry.