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English 2790, Spring 2019

Introduction to English Education

This course offers an introduction to the responsibilities, aspirations, and professional knowledge of secondary English language arts teachers.

The course will include students: reflecting on their own experiences learning to read and write, learning about the teaching of writing, teaching each other, developing thematic literature curriculum, studying and presenting about current professional issues in teaching English, observing and interviewing secondary English teachers, learning about the program and requirements for teacher certification, becoming familiar with new technologies and developing their own teacher website and online portfolio, and reflecting on the decision to pursue a career as an English teacher.  (See Course Goals.)

Professional Involvement

Future English teachers should join NCTE, MCTE, and/or MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle.  The English Companion Ning is a remarkable resource with over 10,000 members -- join and draw on this resource throughout the semester. WMU has an NCTE Student affiliate; become an active member.

Teachers need to be informed what is happening in their local communities and around the world.  Future teachers in this class are expected to read from a variety of news sources and are invited to bring issues to our class for discussion. WMU provides a free NYT subscription.

You are expected to attend at least one day of the Spring Michigan Reading Association (MRA) Conference March 9-11 in Grand Rapids ($139 - register by Jan 16!). If finances present a challenge, seek support and be creative, for example, the gofundme approach. The "Think Spring" Michigan Council of the Teachers of English Conference all day on Friday, February 1 in Shepherd, MI ($60 for students) is also of interest.

I recommend gay and straight future teachers join GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

Technology

The course will be taught in the WMU English Department English Education Labs fostering teacher designed instruction, critical thinking about technology and curriculum, teacher and student publication, free, open-source, or low cost resources, and strategies for bringing the resources and communicative possibilities of the Internet to all students.

Course Success

Since the class is discussion-based, attendance and preparation are essential to your own learning and to the learning of your classmates. Missing any classes will affect your learning. Missing 3 classes or more may lower your grade and missing 5 classes may lead to failing. Study my philosophy regarding discussion, preparation, participation, attendance, grading, and learning -- and consider your own philosophy!

Your final course grade will be an average of grades for the major assignments, listed and weighted below. At the hour scheduled for the final exam students will turn in a take home exam/essay and evaluate and discuss the course.

This course will follow WMU policies regarding academic honesty.

WMU has many resources to foster student health and well being. If at any point in the semester if you feel stress, English 2790 does offer free on-line therapy from Eliza!

My office is 723 Sprau Tower, 387-2605. Office hours are after class and by appointment. You can always reach me via email.

Reading

books

Romano, Tom. Clearing the Way: Working With Teenage Writers. (Heinemann, 1987)

Christensen, Linda. Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word. SECOND EDITION. (Rethinking Schools, 2017)

Rozema, Robert & Ellis, Lindsay. Early Career English Teachers in Action: Learning from Experience, Developing Expertise. (Routledge, 2014) (Available for free in electronic form through the WMU library.)

Major Assignments

 

Attend an English Teacher Conference

Literacy Autobiography (15%) Due: 1/16

Teaching Teachers (10%) Due: 2/4-2/18

Professional Issue Presentation (10%) Due: 2/25

Thematic Curriculum Concept (15%) Due: 4/1

Observation / Interview (20%) Due: 4/8

Teaching Website / Online Portfolio (20%) Due: 4/17

Final Exam: Reflections on Teaching (10%) Due: 4/25

Electronic Syllabus

Jan 7: Introductions

Jan 9: Literacy Autobiography

1. Read carefully through the entire on-line syllabus. Bring any questions about the syllabus and assignments to class.

2. Join our class phone message system, Remind. If you have a smartphone go to this page in your web browser and follow instructions: rmd.at/66g8d8. If you don't have a smart phone text "@66g8d8" to this number "81010".  If you don't have a cell phone go to rmd.at/66g8d8 and sign up for email notification.

3. Register for and put on your calendar attending at least one day of the Michigan Reading Association Conference, March 9-11 in Grand Rapids ($139), or if that is not possible, the Spring Michigan Council of the Teachers of English Conference all day on Friday, February 1 in Shepherd, MI ($25 for students).

4. Bring 5 pages rough draft of your literacy autobiography to class.

Jan 14: Literacy Autobiography Continued

1. Bring at least 12 pages of rough drafts -- and at least 3 different genre "experiments" -- from your literacy autobiography to class.

Jan 16: Plan Teaching Reading, Writing, & Rising Up

1. Literacy Autobiography DUE

Jan 21: Martin Luther King, Jr Day No Class

Attend an MLK event such as the MLK Day Teach-In in the Bernhard Center, Room 210, 11 am to 3 pm!

Jan 23: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

1. Read: Chapters 1-4 of Clearing the Way

Jan 28: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

1. Read: Chapters 5-7 of Clearing the Way 

Feb 1: Friday MCTE "Think Spring" Conference, Shepherd, MI

Jan 30: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

1. Finish: Clearing the Way 

Feb 4: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Intro & Chap 1

Feb 6: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 2

Feb 11 Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 3

Feb 13: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 4

Feb 18: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 5

Feb 20: Prepare Professional Issue Presentations

Feb 25: Professional Issue Presentations

Due: Professional Issue Presentation

Feb 27: English Teacher Observation / Interview Planning & Teaching Today

1. Read: Early Career English Teachers in Action (2015), new teacher stories from Chapters 2-3:
Lessons from the Scrap Yard (22-28)
The Rules (29-35)
Lessons from the Slum (36-43)
Life Skills (44-53)
Loving and Leaving (61-73)

Available via WMU online library reserves.  (Search by instructor. Add Course.  Password: 2790.  Course Home. View Item. Go to the Table of Contents. Open Chapter, then individual stories. View on line, OR  download pages, use "continue as guest" (there may be a page limit per browser use, to restart you can change browser or delete browser history. Trouble with E-book? Call Cherise at 269-387-5882 during business hours or contact the library through the "Ask Us" button on the library home page.)

Mar 4-8 Spring Break

Mar 11: Teaching Today Continued

1. Read: Early Career English Teachers in Action, new teacher stories from Chapters 4-5:
Why the Hell Would You Teach There? (74-85) Kibera Sings (93-101) Going Gradeless (102-13) The Meaning of Success (114-117)
An Absorbing Fear, Rejecting Fear (125-30)
Integrity (131-35)

Mar 13: Teaching Today Continued

1. Read: Early Career English Teachers in Action, new teacher stories from Chapters 5-6:
Breaking My Rule (136-45)
First Love (146-51)
The Exceptions (164-68)
Finding Your Focus (169-76)
Innocence and Experience (177-80)
The Heart of Teaching (181-84)

Mar 9-11 Michigan Reading Association Conference, Grand Rapids

Mar 18: Thematic Approaches 

1. Reading: From Literature and Lives (Chap 1 & Chap 2) & "Embedded: Teaching the Iraq War"

Mar 20: Thematic Approaches Continued

1. Read: From Teaching Climate Change (Chap 1 & Chap 2)

2. Read: Allen's manuscript, "Opening the Conversation about Climate Refugees"

Mar 25: Class Activites and Lesson Planning

1. Read about class activities: Interactive Classroom Activities, Document Activity Tools, Mozilla On-Line Activities, Boal Forum Theater & Invisible Theater, search by keyword for lesson ideas at Read, Write, Think (resource for English teachers created by NCTE and ILA).

2. Study Allen's Lesson Plan Format and the links from that page.

Mar 27: Teacher Panel

Apr 1: Senior Panel

1. Due: Thematic Curriculum Concept

Apr 3: Advisor Panel

1. Learn about requirements and advising in the College of Education.
2. Read about required state certification tests including the Professional Readiness Exam (PRE) and the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC Subject Area) in the English (BA) (002) Subject Area.
3. Learn about advising and course requirements for the English Major and Minor in Secondary Education.
4. Additional resources for test preparation and for preparing to go on the job market, EnglishJob.wikispaces.com.

Apr 8: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio

Due: Teacher Observation / Interview
Apr 10: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio Continued

Apr 15: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio Continued

Apr 17: Presentation of Teaching Website / Online Portfolios

Due: Teaching Website

Apr 22-25: Finals Week

Apr 25 Thursday, 12:30-2:30: Final Exam: Discussion of Course and Reflections

Due: Take Home Final Exam: My Current Reflections on Teaching English