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Serve Your Enthusiasm

By Bob Zakrzewski

            Often this time of year when winter overstays its welcome, I find solace in the sun stretching each day longer, melting January and February’s icy blues and chapped pinks into March greens.  And as a high school English teacher on a block schedule, facing mid-winter accompanies meeting new students, reminding me of James Baldwin’s apt observation: “Fires can’t be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men.”

            Enthusiasm fuels my teaching.  Years spent honing the art of organizing lessons and developing an understanding of writing, although well-spent, could not sustain me.  Walking into class with a well-prepared plan and confident knowledge of the day’s literature felt great, yet, lacking enthusiasm, the lessons fell flat. Read more