things here and there

I’m taking the Assessment of Professional Teaching Test today. It’s one of those where you can’t really prepare, except by having a good breakfast, which I’ve had and the test isn’t for another four hours. I’m reading the objectives, which some committee at the state board of education probably hammered out in a bland conference room in the middle of the cornfields–I love it when people call it the prairie, heh. I don’t think anyone ever reads them, since they don’t actually discuss any content that’s going to be assessed. Read them here if you need to go to sleep. Unless you’re nerdy about all thing teaching, because they could actually be interesting to you. I have to study for tests, even when I don’t know what to study. I’m going to read over the cognitive development chapters and a book about discipline.

The other day, I was watching my class discuss Romeo and Juliet, and the teacher was asking students about their favorite scenes. Several girls liked the suicide scene. They said it was because it was wonderful that they would give up their lives because they couldn’t be with each other. It was such a spooky moment when one girl was explaining this. I wonder if they will somehow get the idea that that’s desirable. The teacher is talking about wise choice and responsibility, but I wonder how much it penetrates. I’ve also noticed that a lot of young adult books talk about suicide and infatuation as though they’re perfectly normal. Of course they all criticize suicide, and try show alternatives, but I wonder if sometimes it doesn’t come off to kids as glorification. These kids in particular, with very poor reading comprehension and a host of family and community issues and with very little stability outside of the classroom, may just get the wrong message.

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