I think most secondary school teachers and college professors go into teaching because they have passion for a particular subject, but even within the confines of a certain subject, teachers play favorites — especially at the college level. When I was in college, I took courses such as Late Romantic Literature — we studied Byron, both Shelleys, and Keats for ten weeks — and Celtic Literature — a class that continues to inspire me so much that I still kick myself for not saving my notes. I decided to teach English because I loved British literature. It has been my experience, however, that English teachers must reach a certain stage in their careers before they are able to teach British literature, which is considered by some to be a plum assignment. In this, my tenth year of teaching, I was finally given the opportunity to teach the literature I was most passionate about, and I have enjoyed it immensely.
My British literature class finished Macbeth on Wednesday, and I really enjoyed teaching it for the first time. I had a great time with everything we did together this semester. My students seemed engaged, and I hope they learned something interesting. I am really hoping to teach two sections of British literature next year. Some of the things we did this year:
- Created our own Brave New Worlds using wikis
- Wrote résumés for Beowulf
- Attended a performance of Macbeth at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern
- Read historical fiction (most of my class read Grendel, although a few read The Other Boleyn Girl — next year, sign up sheets!) set in the time period we studied
- Learned a bit of Old English from Ms. Skott, who is team-teaching the course with me
- Memorized Macbeth’s “Out, out, brief candle” soliloquy
Stuff we didn’t get to that I really wanted to do:
- Dr. Faustus
- Historical fiction wikis
- Create our own Canterbury Tales
- Macbeth research projects
I hope I’m afforded the opportunity to do these projects next year.