I’m more specific with students about their work. The assignment sheets, unit calendars, grading rubrics, student and professional models, and daily content and language objectives all help students get better grades. They also make grading easier and more consistent. But I have reservations. I taught in an affluent community for eleven years, and the pressure to defend and quantify every grade developed in me resentment toward the point-mongering that rubrics encourage, and weariness with the “breaking down” of the creative process into manageable, grade-able units. The specificity in my teaching became a crutch that kept students from thinking for themselves and made them panic whenever they saw ambiguity in the world.
Now, I find that my ability to give clear directions and break down tasks into manageable, grade-able units is really useful. For four years I’ve taught African refugee students in a charter school, and my students, many of whom are forced to think for themselves due to the death of, or separation, from parents, are already independent. Having missed several years of schooling, they count on me to clarify ambiguities for them and to show them the kind of work they need to do in order to survive in college.
Heather Megarry Traeger
Ubah Medical Academy
15 years of teaching
"You Gotta BE the Book": Teaching Engaged and Reflective Reading with Adolescents. 2nd edition.
Author(s): Jeffrey D. Wilhelm
The new edition of Jeffrey Wilhelm's vital book looks at "what this act of reading really is": a social practice and a search for meaning.
Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice
Editor(s): Kylene Beers, Robert E. Probst, Linda Rief
In Adolescent Literacy renowned educators Kylene Beers, Bob Probst, and Linda Rief lead twenty-eight of the most important and widely read educators across the country in a conversation about where we are in the teaching of literacy to adolescents and how best to move forward. From researchers to classroom teachers, from long-treasured voices to important new members of the education community, Adolescent Literacy includes the thoughts of central figures in the field today.