First published on Medium, April 26th, 2018

Today’s post was going to be about a statement a kid in my class made to his friend, with best intentions — ‘you don’t hit girls’, but I have just taken my head off some serious reading and I’m saving that topic for another day.

As a teacher, have you found yourself having to teach a topic you despised so well as a student? You know that topic you always skipped while studying for exams or tests and pray in your heart that the lecturer/teacher doesn’t include it in her questions? Yeah. You get it.

So my students and I are doing a poetry unit. I’m a huge fan of deciphering figurative language in poem (or any piece of writing), but I have always hated rhymes, rhythms and rhyme schemes. In fact, the whole ‘rhy’ family. To teach poetry, there is no avoiding the discussion on structure analysis and to discuss structure, there is no avoiding rhymes and rhyme schemes. So these past days, I’ve found myself grappling alongside my students in marking out the rhyme schemes of the poems we are studying. So much confusion for what is perhaps really easy because I had spent my whole life refusing to pay attention.

After so many back and forth with my students and their varying answers and explanations for two days, I paused the lesson today and promised them to actually read up on the topic. So now I’ve spent like an hour studying rhyme scheme and how it works and talking to my friend, Ope, who always saves me. I’ve also assigned myself a couple of exercises and Ope confirms that I aced them all. Now, I feel like a rhyme scheme pro. Okay, not very much so, but I’m thankful that I now know enough to teach my kids the methods and tricks to decoding rhyme schemes other than superfluous guesses. Doesn’t that make me a pro though? 😜

What do you do when you’re faced with tough topics to teach? Share!


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