Series: White People Homework (22) ‘Canon’ Fodder

Districts and English departments are scrambling for “diverse” books–while some of us have been doing this work, time to continue and support.

White People Homework (1)

White People: Do the Work As a follow up to this post, The Racist in the Classroom, I offer these resources that may help you grow and learn. Growth is uncomfortable. Growth can be filled with shame, guilt, and cringe-worthy memories. But maybe that’s just me. And I understand and accept what Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi said (paraphrasing) –this work is never done. It’s continual growth and learning. And warning: you might lose friends. You might get trolled by white ladies like this one: When we impeached this president, we warned that he was a dictator in waiting….

disrupting mockingbirds.

TFW I asked for help on teaching To Kill A Mockingbird and received so much support and guidance.

School Shopping.

Is Teachers Pay Teachers “bad?” And why do I have an image of my #ProjectLIT progress? I’ll pull it all together, promise. I believe that as a whole TPT is bad for students, so I will continue to voice my concerns. — Colby Sharp (@colbysharp) August 8, 2018 Yes, sometimes it is. It can be the junk food, candy display at the check-out counter, along with the pulp magazines and other impulse buys. Worksheets=bad. (Even when students beg for them: that’s a good sign you’re actually teaching.) Teaching authentically, making fresh, home-made lessons every day is tough; we can’t even…

Making things.

  As a follow-up to yesterday’s post regarding how to get students to move forward without scaffolds, I received many good ideas from the High School ELA group page* on Facebook, and coincidentally (are there coincidences in this day of spooky algorithms?) the National Writing Project posted this article, “Using Blogging to Grow Independent Writers (or: How to Kick Your Little Birds Out of the Nest).” I feel hopeful that I am capable of bringing writers forward. We blog, I’ve been blogging, and will keep offering it to students, as well as continue to make connections and reframe their concepts of…

Heart-shaped box. (Or The Giving Tree reimagined.)

Are there two kinds of people in this world? Those who X or those who Y? Or maybe that is the paradox, thinking we can be this or that. But if I was the kind of person who asks if there are two kinds of people, (which I’m not) I would ask if you like The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. You know the book– the story begins with a boy and a tree, and the tree, or Tree, ends up giving the boy everything and ends up being a stump for the boy, now an old man, to sit…

Pledge.

I always have this summer break lag–it takes me a bit to realize it actually is break time, and not only relax, but reflect. And just not think at all. Last summer I had everything planned out, and offered my time and expertise to go over the CCSS and come up with a menu of critical ones I knew our PLC should take a look at and consider for the common/formative/assessments. Well, that didn’t work, and that’s okay: the team decided to focus on one skill through the lens of one or two standards. Am I going to stop coming…

Deep down.

  Today I was observed for the last 40 minutes of my last class of the day on the first day back from winter break, and that was perfectly fine. I trust my evaluator completely and know that the feedback I receive will be informed and valuable. In our time -constrained worlds, though, I am not sure I’ll have the opportunity to tell her all the things leading up to the moment where she came in. So here is where I get to reflect–this space is a good thinking space. Today I began a unit I created from scratch. I…

Media Festival: Go West, Teacher! (Part 2)

This is a follow-up to Part 1 of “Go West, Teacher!” One of my burning questions is a ‘Now and Then’ sort of game — what do we do now, and what did folks do back then to (fill in the blank)? Many of these will be treated in a constructivist model, with the questions posed as writing about what students’ experiences are now, and then constructing and inquiring about the past. Any suggestions for constructing meaning and thinking are welcome.  How did the Europeans construct their ‘new world?’ What ideals should they have left behind, and what values and…