Ups And Downs In Teaching

Class Debate Scorecard

Last week, I was ready to find a new job.

Maybe it was because we the state writing test was looming and I wasn't sure the kids were ready. Or maybe it was because we'd been doing some tedious word skills assignments in our workbook and I was overwhelmed with grading and dismayed by a lack of understanding or effort on the part of some of my students. Maybe it was spending too much time reading education blogs decrying current reform attempts. I don't know. I was seriously considering a career change — and the sooner, the better.

Fortunately, that mindset changed this week.

As I sat here Friday evening, munching on Cheez-Its and chocolate (I know — not terribly healthy…), I wondered why my attitude changed.

Then it hit me: I love new projects, creating units to teach new or difficult concepts to my students, watching students work through the process, and seeing those light bulbs flicker on over their heads (metaphorically speaking…haha).

This week was exciting because I spent four hours Saturday creating a class debate unit to help the students understand how to craft an argument, write it up in essay format and then present it to their peers for review. Granted, I still have my work cut out for me in terms of teaching my students true argumentation and logic, but I'm working on that.

In the meantime, I'm sharing my debate unit with some other teachers in my building, seeking their feedback, and making changes in preparation for putting the unit up on Teachers Pay Teachers. I'll keep you updated…

 

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

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