Then, my delivery method was like the fear-based persuasion of the Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards. I delivered American literature with similar zeal, only my aim for students was a “great awakening” of the secular, literature-based variety. Edwards delivered “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” to a captive audience facing damnation. “The fire is made ready,” Edwards preached. I preached, too. However, for students, the fiery hell threatening was the semester report card. I knew this, but never made the connection for them.
Now, I am more Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc., than Edwards. My delivery reflects 21st-century technology and thinking. My materials are downloadable. (What if Edwards had PowerPoint?) My classroom is collaborative, and students design their learning. Information is not delivered, it is shared. We progress through the evolution of American literature, and my instructional model mirrors this progression and evolution from the 18th century to the 21st century.
Armando T. Zúñiga
Teacher on Special Assignment, English Language Development (K-12)
Simi Valley Unified School District
Simi Valley, California
11 years of teaching