Ten years ago when I began my career, it was all about how I, the teacher, the performer, the motivator, would capture my students’ attention so they could repeat the ideas that I knew were present in the texts. I am pleased to announce that I am no longer the sage on the stage; I have blossomed into a teacher who has a toolkit of activities to guide my students through the process of discovering meaning. I am now a teacher who beams with pride when my students are eager to read a short story after composing predictions during a pre-reading activity. I enjoy eavesdropping on literature circle discussions, where my students are sharing their ideas about a poem. I am intrigued by the insight of my eighth graders as I read the newsletter they created to respond to a cross-genre study of the Vietnam War. I am pleased because I am now helping to create independent thinkers, instead of entertaining students who will repeat my ideas.
--Adria F. Merritt Russell Middle School Lawrenceville, Virginia 10 years of teaching