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English 2790, Spring 2020

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 an English teacher conference. This semester there are two choices: 1) Michigan Reading Association (MRA) Conference March 14-16 in Grand Rapids (Student 1 day $139, student 2-3 days $159 - register by Mar 4! Volunteer and get a free hotel room! And, 2) the MCTE Think Spring Conference Friday, March 13, at Western Michigan University! Attend both if you can!

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: 1/15

Teaching Teachers (10%) Due: 2/3-2/17

Professional Issue Presentation (10%) Due: 2/24

Observation / Interview (20%) Due: 3/16

Thematic Curriculum Concept (15%) Due: 3/30

Teaching Website / Online Portfolio (20%) Due: 4/15

Final Exam: Reflections on Teaching (10%) Due: 4/21

Electronic Syllabus

Jan 6: Introductions

Jan 8: 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. From your phone text "@k4732k" to this number "81010".

3. Register for and put on your calendar attending at least one day of the Spring English teacher conferences on your calendar: 1) Michigan Reading Association (MRA) Conference March 14-16 in Grand Rapids (Student 1 day $139, student 2-3 days $159 - register by Mar 4! Volunteer and get a free hotel room! And, 2) the MCTE Think Spring Conference Friday, March 13, at Western Michigan University!

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

Jan 13: 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 15: Plan Teaching Reading, Writing, & Rising Up

1. Literacy Autobiography DUE

Jan 20: 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 22: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

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

Jan 27: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

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

Jan 29: English Teacher Narrative: Clearing the Way

1. Finish: Clearing the Way 

Feb 3: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Intro & Chap 1

Feb 5: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 2

Feb 10: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 3

Feb 12: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 4

Feb 17: Teaching Teachers: Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Chap 5

Feb 19: Prepare Professional Issue Presentations

Feb 24: Professional Issue Presentations

Due: Professional Issue Presentation
Rebecca, Chloe H, Chloe T, Seth, Misty, Amanda, Cole, Mirai, Sydney, Nina, Elija, Matt, Maria, Mariko, John, Mariah, Sophie, Kaila, Megan, Jessie

Feb 26: 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 2-6 Spring Break

Mar 9: 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 11: 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 13 MCTE Think Spring CONFERENCE, Western Michigan University.

Mar 14-16 MRA CONFERENCE, Renaissance Center, Detroit

Mar 16: Thematic Approaches 

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

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Due: Teacher Observation / Interview

Mar 18: Thematic Approaches Continued

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

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

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Mar 23: 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.

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Mar 25: Teacher Panel

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Mar 30: Senior Panel

1. Due: Thematic Curriculum Concept

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Apr 1: 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.

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Apr 6: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION

Apr 8: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio Continued

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION

Apr 13: Teaching Website / Online Portfolio Continued

Apr 15: Presentation of Teaching Website / Online Portfolios

Due: Teaching Website

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00

Apr 20-2: Finals Week

Apr ? day, 1: Final Exam: Discussion of Course and Reflections

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

JOIN ON-LINE DISCUSSION closes 5:00