What I Won’t LIKE Teaching Next Year-but MUST.
I love teaching. I love fresh school supplies-boxes of new crayons, freshly sharpened pencils, writer’s notebooks. I love the laptop cart-fully charged and ready to go. I love my kids-celebrating their successes and working hard to create new successes. I love technology in the classroom and being innovative (as long as it promotes learning). I simply love teaching.
Well, except for one thing. You see, there is this one thing that I just hate teaching. I hated learning it when I was in junior high. I’m pretty sure that I hated it even more when I was in high school. When I got to college I accepted it as a necessary evil, but that did not mean that I liked it. I still don’t like it. I think I might even like it less now that we have the internet at our fingertips.
What on earth could create such angst in a teacher that has 18 years under her belt? Citing Sources. I know! It isn’t a hard thing… it isn’t really difficult at all. Maybe tedious. Maybe monotonous. Maybe boring. Totally necessary. I get it. It isn’t that I don’t want to give credit where credit is due. It isn’t that I want to steal someone else’s work. It’s just that it sometimes interferes with my creative juices. I want to be typing away, inserting images, gathering great ideas, sparking new ideas which is how I work best. I get carried away…I’ll admit it, and then I will suddenly remember about citing sources. Bummer…backtracking to where I have been, what I have looked at, following my own circuitous path to gather all of the information I need to properly cite.
Well, let me tell you this. Kids today have even more problems with this than I do. I was born in the 70s. I was writing reports in black or blue ink in my best cursive. I had my trusty encyclopedia and a few books that I had checked out from the library. Citing sources was not hard. Today’s kids are used to having a wealth of information at their fingertips. My daughter is constantly pulling cute animal pictures off of Google to be her ipod touch cover photo. She was playing with educreations with her friends earlier today and they made a cute presentation about their favorite animals. They literally pulled 40 pictures off the web. They literally have no idea that they need to create a works cited page.
I am going to have to be deliberate in my teaching of this next year. Direct instruction, mini-lessons, practice provided. It can’t go like this…”Oh, wait. We have to cite our sources!” I need to teach this until it becomes second nature, until they become obsessed with citing their sources. Perhaps it will be like the year I taught an awesome health lesson to first graders about germs with a puppet as my sidekick. For weeks afterwards kids could be heard saying things like this, “I just don’t think I can do the monkey bars today. I have no way of knowing if other kids washed their hands first.”
What I am hoping to hear is this, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly use that picture on my report without making sure I cite it.” Quit laughing. It could happen.