Where do we teach?
How does the place in which we teach literary works influence what we teach?
Join me, Matilda Gabrielpillai and Erin Woodford on this panel, as we share our experience of both institutional and non-institutional environments for teaching literature, and debate the possibilities and limitations that such contexts provide.
It’s a pretty good text in that it’s accessible to the students and rich with literary features that make it good for teaching.
For example, one of the essay questions we worked on in class was “Why does Tay title her play Boom? Support your answer with close reference to the text”.
I doubt this question would ever come out at the O-Level exams, but I thought it was a pretty good way of getting the students to think about motifs, symbolism and themes – and their relationships – in the text.
So while I was writing the question and instructions on the board, this exchange took place:
“Jean Tay your friend ah, sir.”
“You’re also a writer, right, sir.”
“So? All writers must be friends is it?”
And midway during the discussion…
“You got watch the play or not?”
“NO. (Beat.) Why?”
“You look like one of the actors lah.” (Pause.)
“Brendon Fernandez, is it?”
“No lah, the actor in the play.”
“Yar, he was one of the actors in the play, right? That’s his name!”
“Y’all are friends ah, sir?”
Guess it was payback for all the times I annoyed my teachers in class…