English 4790, Summer I 2010
Teaching Writing in Secondary Schools
Learning to write can empower students to trust and value their own words and voice, to inquire more deeply into knowledge and ideas, to be creative, to better understand themselves and the world around them, and to speak out clearly and cogently on topics that matter.
Facilitating the power of writing will be the focus of this section of English 4790 Teaching Writing in the Secondary Schools. Aspiring and practicing teachers will write about their own experiences learning to write, learn about leading writing workshops, effective ways to improve student writing, and help make writing meaningful. We'll think about how to help secondary students meet Michigan and national standards. We'll focus, too, on writing in the digital age and using new tools for composing, collaboration, revision, and publication, and draw on research in teaching of writing.
The work we do will help you develop your pedagogical content knowledge in English education.
Class will be held in a wireless, laptop classroom in Brown Hall specifically designed for English education courses. This room will allow us to integrate technology into language arts teaching in a "classroom of the future." Our class will be organized by our on-line syllabus that also serves as an electronic, hyperlinked, textbook. Students will work extensively with new digital writing platforms.
Technological change is reshaping the world our students will be living in, as this 2006 -- and already dated! -- video indicates:
Course discussions will be significantly extended in the class on-line discussion forum on the English Companion Ning, a remarkable resource with, at the time our course begins, 16,000 English teacher members.
As the capstone experience for English Education majors, this course entails an exciting variety of professional activities and responsibilities. You should join NCTE, MCTE, and/or MRA and read regularly the English Journal or Voices from the Middle.
I have created resources that maybe helpful to you in your journey toward certification and employment as a secondary English teacher. With former students I have created an extensive wiki about seeking a job teaching secondary English and a webpage of information for aspiring teachers. Information about the Michigan Teacher Certification test is available on the MTTC website, and on the MTTC page on the English Job wiki. You may also want to review the WMU teacher education Program Goals, which are the basis for the evaluation of intern teaching.
This highly condensed summer semester course offers 4-credit hours at double speed. We are meeting 7 hours per week in class, with substantial reading, course work, and meetings with student groups outside of class time. It will difficult to be successful in in this class if you are taking other courses or working many hours.
Class participation is vital in 4790 and one class meeting of a summer course equals a full week during the regular semester. Missing more than 2 classes will lower the grade and missing more than 3 classes may lead to failing.
This course will follow WMU policies regarding academic honesty.
Students will need to purchase a five dollar fee card from the bookstore, and turn that card into the professor, to offset English Department copying expenses.
WMU has many resources to foster student health and well being. I support the Safe on Campus environment (387-2123), and I recommend The Last Closet for gay and straight future teachers. If at any point in the semester if you feel stress, English 4790 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.
May 12 Wednesday: Students, 21st Century Workplace, & Teaching Writing
May 17 Monday: Beginning Technology and Writing Workshop
May 19 Wednesday: Writing Workshop
May 24 Monday: Writing Genres
May 31 Monday: Memorial Day No Class
June 2 Wednesday: After Atwell
June 7 Monday: Understanding and Learning from Student Experience
June 9 Wednesday: Social Justice and Writing Instruction I
June 14 Monday: Social Justice and Writing Instruction II
June 16 Wednesday: Presentation / Workshops
June 21 Monday: Presentation / Workshops
June 23 Wednesday: Presentation / Workshops
June 28 Monday: Final Project and Class Evaluation
Examine Other On-line Secondary English Methods Courses
A few additional resources -- there are so many!:
Digital Writing, Digital Teaching, Troy Hicks
Secondary Worlds, Robert Rozema
Nov 18-23 NCTE National Conference, Orlando