Site icon ELA Brave and True by Marilyn Yung

How to Reignite Your Passion for ELA (Part 2 of 5)

Wear your reading passion

Note: This is the second of five daily posts on how to spark, reignite, and maintain your passion for ELA. Click here for yesterday’s post, Reignite Your Passion for ELA Part 1 of 5: Memorize and Recite Poetry.

Other than my first year of teaching, the 2021-2022 school year was my most challenging. Out of eleven years of teaching both middle school and high school, students were more disengaged and more disinterested in literature, writing, and school in general, than ever before. It was tough.

There’s nothing worse than trying to get a discussion going when students won’t talk… not even to each other, let alone in a whole-class conversation.

This happened so many times last year, it was disheartening.

But guess what?

I still had to keep teaching.

To do that, I had to be excited about each and every day’s lesson. Fortunately, I love my content area. It’s amazingly cool to be able to work full-time sharing awesome literature with students and helping them express themselves through writing.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

But when you’re in the trenches of mid-October or, worse yet, mid-January, I know how hard it can be to stay excited, positive, and optimistic in the classroom so your students can benefit from that joy.

So just for you, I’m posting a few tried-and-true ways that help me stay passionate and excited about my content. I’ll be sharing these ideas over the next week as the beginning of school approaches. And yes, I think you’ll find some of them a little unusual, but they work for me and keep me interested in learning more about my content.

So, without further ado, here’s my second way to reignite your passion for ELA:

Wear your reading passion.

Wear a t-shirt with your favorite novel (or childhood book on it). I have a Great Gatsby relaxed fit t-shirt (see the photo at the top of this post) that I purchased from Out of Print. I also made a t-shirt (see below) featuring a beautiful sentence from The Great Gatsby.

No doubt, when you “wear a book” students will notice your clothing and ask about it, thereby providing you with the perfect opportunity to wax enthusiastically!

I made this t-shirt last summer and designed it around one of the many beautiful sentences from The Great Gatsby.

Make a big deal out of why you love your novel or other book so much. Get a little too enthusiastic!

In fact, get a little weird about it!

Sharing your passion will be fun for you, and your students will observe your passion for reading in action. The moment will add a dash of energy to your day and give you a little boost as well. Fight burnout and invest in some literary wear this year!

Here are three literary wear sources to get you started:

Storiarts, Out of Print, and The Literary Gift Co.

Marilyn Yung

Thanks for reading!

Wearing a t-shirt that gets you talking and sharing your enthusiasm with a student is a great way to reignite your passion for ELA.

Do you ever wear a t-shirt with a literary design or book cover? (And I’m not talking about “teacher quotes” or funny grammar-themed tees, but shirts that let you talk about literature.) Leave a comment by replying below or send me a message via my Contact page.

Need a new poetry idea?

Enter your email below and I’ll send you this PDF file that will teach your students to write Treasured Object Poems, one of my favorite poem activities. I know your students will enjoy it!

Treasured Object Poems

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Featured photo is a Great Gatsby t-shirt from Out of

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