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November 22, 2005


I believe that the truly great high school English teacher (and why does it seem that a disproportionate number of truly great high school teachers teach English) strikes a balance between entertaining the class and getting the material across. This is part of the reason that I disapprove of "creative writing" classes in high school -- students at this age still need to READ literature, and are not ready yet to write it.
There are few teachers who can charm a classroom into learning the difference between a participle phrase and a nominative absolute, but those who can are something special.


Bright students are ready for creative writing. I did write one good story at the beginning of the class, but my major assignment, a play, was a piece of garbage.

I had several useless classes in high school, like printing shop and drafting. If those useless classes were replaced with a glass where an entertaining teacher just BSed with you, I think that would be a big improvement.

Maybe I received more personal benefit from McCourt's class than from one where I would have had to read Shakespeare. McCourt taught me that my parents were unsophisticated rubes, and that enlightement is priceless.

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