I am preparing the seminar groups for our class tomorrow night and thinking about all of you and the good work you have done this semester.
Would you please use the Atwell piece (“Afterword”) in Beers as a jumping off point to reflect on what you think is the most important work we have done together this semester. That will help me tremendously for future planning.
My big question: how are you thinking about ENGLISH (what English is? And teaching it!) in contrast to how you might have been thinking about it before 541? What has been most important to you this semester? What has been foundational? Transformative?
Recall Yagelski’s emphasis on a “pedagogy of possibility.” Where are you finding possibilities for the future in your own classroom in the work you have done in 541?
And how are your understandings (yes, overarching!) about what constitutes a progressive ELA pedagogy evolving?
This has been a new project for me and and it’s been challenging to include all of the things I have wanted to include in a one-semester Methods class. I have learned a great deal myself as any teacher does teaching a new course. The rule of thumb is that it takes 3x through any new course or content before a teacher knows the territory well enough to be confident about the content/organization, etc. etc. I can surely attest to that!!
I wonder if you agree with what I think have been the emphases in the class–in no particular order:
• focusing on critical literacies (multiple perspectives–Tyson/Appleman)
• honing a teacher’s voice speaking to other teachers (the YA lit article)
• writing for publication as a model for your own work with students (YA lit article)
• developing as an informed professional (NCTE membership, professional reading)
• considering transformative pedagogies (I have to say it–Gruwell!)
• focusing on collaborative and multiple structures that support adolescent readers (Atwell, book club)
• selecting multiple texts to engage a wider range of readers and readings (Beers chapters, unit plan)
• planning for teaching with the “end in mind” (UbD unit planning)
• establishing a classroom community (blogging, small group class discussions)
• investigating new literacies/new media (Beers chapters, your unit plans, etc.)
• honoring the truth that all kids can/want to learn – but from different texts and w/different tools (Beers chapters)
• gathering a toolkit of strategies to use to engage readers in reading complex texts (seminar assignment)
What would you add?
I always require a final reflection in any course I teach; but this semester w/the final class activity and your revising such an important paper, I did not assign a specific final reflection.
But if you choose to add pts to your unit plan grade, you have the opportunity to reflect in writing between tomorrow and the end of next week. I hope you will.
I look forward to reading your blog posts on this prompt and seeing you in class tomorrow night.
If you are on campus earlier than start of class, please stop in and pick up your unit plan before class. I will begin reading last book reviews and newly revised YA lit article submissions after our last class and will send feedback between now and the start of the exam week at Cortland.
I invite you to make an appt. to meet with me next week sometime if you would like to talk about your work and/or my assessment of it. KES