The background to my first unit as a student teacher makes, I think, a funny story. During my first week at A.I., my cooperating teacher Mrs. Donovan told me I could start the next week with the Honors 10th graders reading Lord of the Flies. While I think I maintained a straight face, my brain was doing that "Error! Error!" thing from that space TV show because I had not ever even picked up Lord of the Flies before.
Teach it? Uh... sure.
I mean, why not teach a book I've never read before? I've been told several times that you don't really learn material until you teach it. So I went to Borders (an adventure in and of itself: it took me over an hour to make a 20 minute drive because the roads in the Wilmington region are lame), bought a copy of the book, and started putting the last four years of practice in BS to good use (Let's be honest: while knowing the ins and outs of literature does allow you to make significant meaning from all kinds of writing and media, it also grants an incredible ability to make stuff up).
I spent a weekend in Hartford for an NCSC meeting to help transition the new team and give the national office a presence. While the exec board was prattling on about running the organization, I sat in the corner and wrote a unit on this book I wasn't even done reading. When we did an ice breaker, that was my interesting fact and everyone laughed at me. That's not funny -- that's genius.
Anyway, I've been teaching Lord of the Flies for about three weeks now and we're half done (Aside: I need to get used to the fact that high schoolers will balk at me for assigning a chapter a night, when a college student gets assigned books a night). I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself: my kids keep asking me how many times I've read the book because it's obviously been a lot.
My reply: "Enough."
Does this count as a teaching triumph? Probably not. This is still well in the realm of college-student-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants. I gave my first test yesterday; we'll see if they learned a blessed thing when I start grading tonight/tomorrow. If not, I'll reevaluate my tactics.
There's always plan B: career track Star Trek convention attendee.