When I began teaching 11 years ago, I thought that getting the students the information was of value. Now, I’m more focused on student mastery than coverage of material. I want to get my high school freshmen interested and excited about reading books. While we still do canonical texts, we also read from the New York Times bestseller list as well. I no longer give exams, and do a lot more large and small group discussion of texts. I have incorporated literature circles and Socratic seminar and have begun using a reading rubric.
My other focus is getting students to understand the writing process—editing and revision. For their writing, instead of killing myself trying to develop the ultimate rubric, I’ve begun using the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory’s 6+1 Writing Rubric.
Finally, I have my students submit the majority of assignments digitally, so we are all doing our part to save the environment.
11 years teaching