Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Go Hard

Dear friends,

I’m a week into The Crucible. I have to say I really feel like an English teacher now. Each day we start with the Go Vocab (word of the day) and then head onto a topical Do Now (Should you forgive people who have wronged you?) and then we launch into our DRAMATIC READING. A dramatic reading might be a student trudging through 17th century English (as perceived by Arthur Miller) in a monotone voice, or it might be someone standing on top of their desk shouting, “I’ll give you a pointy reckoning”( That’s right readers Abigail Williams goes hard).

In the course of teaching The CrucibleI’ve met challenges like, “Hey, where is all of this headed?” Or “Why is that student screaming at the top of their longs in the hallway and narrating their own actions?” or “Oh my, the Do Now and Vocab have taken twenty-four minutes instead of nine!” Managing time is a challenge.

The greatest hurdle for this week, and the next, is to figure out the proper pacing for the play. How fast should we move through the Acts? Etc. Right now we a trudging, which (if I were to be candid) is somewhat comforting because at least I know what I can teach each day…so maybe I’m clinging a bit.

There are days that teaching feels like high fiving the universe and others when you feel like the universe drugged you and left you by the side of the road without your shoes. The roller coaster of your first year leads most people to say that you “survive it,” which I won’t disagree with.

Let’s end with a high five moments: three of my students who are talented calligraphers made me some awesome signs for my Shout Out Board and The Crucible Plot and Analysis bulletin board (Yes Readers, Mr. Stevens goes hard).

Pictures to come,



  1. Is "goes hard" like "talk hard"?

    You may be to young for a Pump up the Volume reference now that I think about it.

    Enjoyed as always.

  2. It's something my students say. The context they use it would be like this: "Wow, Fred you wrote a really good response," said Mr. Stevens.

    "I go hard Mr.Stevens," said Fred.

    I guess you could say it means I'm serious, or I don't mess around etc.