Wednesday, May 14, 2008

You can have a Twilight Guy but can you have a Twilight Teacher?

I want to take the time to explain a little bit about the project I am trying to conduct here. As a second year English teacher and a life-long fan of novels, I found myself quite dismayed by the lack of student motivated reading that takes place between the ages of 11 and 18. Maybe I was just a super nerd, though I like to just think of myself as socially challenged, or perhaps unique, but I adored reading. I lavished in my ability to escape into different worlds, become different people, explores other's lives. As my second year of teaching is coming to a close, I have come to realize that it is not that students do not want to read, they just don't know what to read. The world is a fast paced place. Images overload our senses everyday on television and the internet. We have created an entire language for the purpose of chatting on internet social networks such as MySpace and Facebook. I was beginning to think the novel, or at least our appreciation of it, was dying. This was perhaps until Twilight. Last year,  I had a student who I constantly had to tell to put her book away. I know, shocking and depressing, and quite ironic. Here I was a teacher who feared more than anything that students had lost interest in the exploration of literature and I was telling a student not to read (oh the joys of standardized testing and the pressures we all must face as a result). Finally, I asked my student about the book she was reading--Twilight. It sounded interesting, and she was always talking to me about it, and I mean ALWAYS, but didn't seem like quite my cup of tea (snobby brit lit fan here). Over a year later, I finally flipped through my copy of the book (it had been lying around my house for months...a sleeping monster just waiting to devour me). I fell in love, with the story, with the characters, and knew my students would love it. I immediately went to work! Finally I had found a story that I thought I could hypnotize my students with. As a result, I think over half the eighth grade at my school has read or is reading the novel--and its a plague that is spreading. This blog will be used to explore young adult literature in an attempt to compile a list of books that teenagers perhaps might want to read. I hope that it will be a place for students to share their views on books and suggest books for other teens to read. My first giant expose will be on the Twilight series. Please check back soon (most likely by the end of next weekend) for a huge story of my school's reactions to the series. Quite amusing I assure you. Some things to look out for:
1) Converting a male die hard Harry Potter Fan (He actually yelled the killing spell at a sub once in the middle of instructional time).
2) Pictures of my students Twilighting out (or geeking out!).
3) Student Written Reviews
4) Student Predictions for Breaking Dawn
5)Student Reactions to the Twilight Movie (Yes, I let them watch the trailer during my class). 
As a reader of this blog, I hope you will reply to my first series of entries on Twilight and offer suggestions. I know my students are looking forward to working on this blog with me. If you can think of any questions for them, please post :-) I am also taking suggestions on what book or series I should focus on next!!


Jenicky said...

I'll be looking forward to your students' reactions. I'm a fan of Twilight as well. I definitely think teens my age need to read more. I try to read even though I find myself with little free time. The past week alone I've read and finished four books and one play(MacBeth, if you're wondering). I'd be happy to recommend books for teens.

Priscilla said...

I wish you were my teacher!
I'm in eight grade too. :]

I am also a huge bookworm. You'll never find me without a book. My language teacher told me about Twilight last fall, and I absolutely fell in love. I've been obsessed ever since. Anyway, I really wish I went to whatever school you teach at. I'd be your most enthusiastic and excited participant in this project. Your students are very lucky to have you as a teacher. Mrs. Jones (my LA teacher) isn't that open about her love for the books. Whenever I try to talk to her about them, she usually just looks really uninterested...

I can't wait to see everything that's about to come. But know that I'm intensely jealous of your students. :(

*from Indiana*

Ms.Truitt said...

I am happy to hear that there are still students out there who love to read. Its refreshing and makes me feel like maybe I wasn't as big of a nerd as I thought I was back in school. Give your teachers a break, we are pretty busy. It is certainly not a 9 to 5 job. Maybe one day they will be turned to the dark side like I was. It took me a year! :-)

I played Lady MacBeth in college ;-)

Phinecia said...

I homeschool my 10 and 12 year old and they LOVE the Twilight series. In fact my 10 year old has read it 3 times. It's a wonderful story that involves action, love, moral issues, and so much more. I call it a modern day Romeo & Juliet.

As far as a suggestion for other books to read, my kids enjoyed The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor and The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley and Peter Ferguson.

Roxie said...

Oh how I wish you could've been my teacher way back when! Your students will love you and never ever forget you for this! I cannot wait to read how it went!

Gina said...

I'm so glad to hear that a teacher is bringing Twilight into the classroom. In my opinion it's like another Harry Potter for children today to get sucked into, and find the joys in reading.

I'm in college at the moment, majoring in early childhood education. So, sadly I won't be able to introduce my students to Twilight, but I'm glad you're able to, more teachers should start doing it.