Indulge in literary travel
Note: This is the last 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 4 of 5: Transcribe a Movie.
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.
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’ve been sharing these ideas over this 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 fifth way to reignite your passion for ELA:
Indulge in literary travel
Travel to places with literary connections. As you vacation, search out places you can see along the way that appeal to your love of literature. Or even better: choose a lit-inspired destination. Here are some ideas for places to visit:
- Boston: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne
- New York City: Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansbury
- Baltimore: Edgar Allan Poe, Eric Carle
- Hannibal, Mo.: Mark Twain
- Montgomery, Ala.: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
- Washington, DC: Frederick Douglass
- And countless others!
It couldn’t be simpler. Just choose any writer, find out their birthplace or residence, and pay the place a visit. It’s exciting to walk where great writers lived and worked!
Visiting a literary location will give you a closer connection and a greater appreciation for your favorite author. To walk in the footsteps of the literary greats is indeed a blessing and a surefire way to refresh your passion for ELA.
The bottom line: experiencing a literary destination could be one way you reignite your excitement for your ELA content.
And yes, I know the high cost of gasoline is a factor. Seek out the closest literary tour you can find. You might be surprised with what you find locally! Cultivate your passion this summer before it’s too late… visit a literary locale!
Thanks for reading! Subscribe for free below (and receive a cool poetry handout!) to catch my upcoming post on Poetry Transcription and Poetry Out Loud, the coolest poetry contest ever.
With school starting soon, it’s important to remember why we teach. When we cultivate our passion, we’ll be better teachers.
I’ve had a handful of teachers contact me this week requesting help with classroom routines and specific literature units. Please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment on any post, or by leaving a message on my Contact Page. I’m more than happy to reply ASAP to offer help or just encouragement as you get into your planning for fall. Cheers!
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