Ask my students, and I’m sure they will readily admit that I have two sides to my teaching personality. One side of my personality is The Empowerer–The Inner-City-in-the-Suburbs educator who is passionate about raising the bar for his students. The teacher who compassionately yet truthfully reads over a student’s paper, looks her in the eyes, and says, “this has some fantastic qualities, but I think you can do better. You use a few great adjectives, but why don’t you try to join a few of those short sentences together for a more rhythmic flow?” Then folds his arms and watches the joyful wheels of rewriting commence.
The other side of my teaching personality is The Comedian–The story-telling, laughter-seeking, Jerry Seinfeld-esk observationist who enjoys teaching his students how to bob and weave through cliches and puns while sucking the marrow from every brilliantly placed sarcastic remark. Then sits back and watches the entire class guffaw.
Of course, most days I fluctuate between both of these: sometimes feeling slightly grumpy from students’ missing work and sometimes feeling old because my reference to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is met with very confused looks. This is a dilemma of teaching: you’re always adjusting to what is current without forsaking the traditional skills that hopefully will help the students read, write, add, laugh, pray, love, and live better.
I also often find this tension when I read. Some days I want to dig in deep to Karl Barth; and other days I want to get lost trying to find the perfect meme to express my “complex” emotions. With that said, here are two very good reasons to read fairy tales. Both are concise and well-written, but the first one is a bit on the lighter side.
Go ahead, you decided what kind of day it is for you!