April 22nd, 2008 jcarterw
I second Ginny’s apprehension when teaching her peers and her comfort when teaching children. Though I battle anxiety when presenting in front of my colleagues, I feel I have learned how to mask my fear fairly well. However, when I speak, I still feel that I lack the fluidity of thought that I have in my writing. I have always felt that I can better express myself in writing than in any other form.
My main criticism of my presentation was that I wanted to communicate the “sense” behind what critics and readers of Lewis Carroll refer to as “nonsense” poetry, but I’m not sure if I did. Though the time restrictions inhibited me from an in-depth analysis of “Jabberwocky,” I tried to show, instead of tell, how “nonsense” could make sense. I do not feel that the text required background knowledge of Carroll’s coinages, and I tried to make this evident through the first exercise (writing a stanza with the eleven coined words in the first stanza of “Jabberwocky”). The stanzas that the class created seemed to follow the form that Carroll had anticipated—with the “nonsense” parts of speech fitting into their correct syntactical places. I wondered whether Carroll’s theory would prove true. It seems, for some classmates at least, that it did.
Also, if I would have thought my presentation out a bit more thoroughly—impossible being the procrastinator that I am—I would not have supplied the class with a copy of “Jabberwocky” the week before my presentation. I think that my activities would have worked better had I provided only the first stanza of “Jabberwocky” for the first two exercises, or better yet, perhaps I should have provided only the eleven “nonsense” coinages.
As a sixth-year teacher, I have found reflecting on my lessons helps tremendously when planning for future lessons or improving upon old lessons. I suggest that anyone (myself included) who feels that they could have taught better should remember the purpose of self-reflection—to better oneself for future endeavors.
Entry Filed under: Teaching Presentations