Ten years ago when I began my career, it was all about how I, the teacher, the performer, the motivator, would capture my students’ attention so they could repeat the ideas that I knew were present in the texts. I am pleased to announce that I am no longer the sage on the stage; I have blossomed into a teacher who has a toolkit of activities to guide my students through the process of discovering meaning. I am now a teacher who beams with pride when my students are eager to read a short story after composing predictions during a pre-reading activity. I enjoy eavesdropping on literature circle discussions, where my students are sharing their ideas about a poem. I am intrigued by the insight of my eighth graders as I read the newsletter they created to respond to a cross-genre study of the Vietnam War. I am pleased because I am now helping to create independent thinkers, instead of entertaining students who will repeat my ideas.
--Adria F. Merritt Russell Middle School Lawrenceville, Virginia 10 years of teaching
In "Making Notes, Making Meaning" from Voices in the Middle, May 2002, Jim Burke introduces notetaking tools used successfully with English-as-a-second-language students and low-achieving high school freshmen.