English 4790, Summer I 2012
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 and put into cultural context their own experiences learning to write, learn about fostering student individuality, independence and creativity in writing workshops, examine effective ways to improve student writing that go beyond cook-book approaches, and learn how to develop and integrate writing into socially, culturally, and politically meaningful curriculum relevant to young people and the world today. We will thoughtfully consider the new Common Core State Standards and ways to help students meet and exceed them.
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. Future teachers will work extensively with multimedia digital writing platforms to prepare them to foster online composing, collaboration, revision, and publication of their students. We will be working with teacher created, free, Internet resources, not for profit corporate materials. The course will clearly draw on recent research in teaching of writing.
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 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. See my philosophy regarding participation and attendance.
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.
Being a college student can be stressful; WMU has many resources to foster student health and well being and there are resources on line, such as esperanza. English 4790 also 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 9 Wednesday: Students, 21st Century Workplace, & Teaching Writing
May 14 Monday: Writing Workshop
May 16 Wednesday: Responding to Writers
May 21 Monday: Social Justice and Writing Instruction I
June 4 Monday: Literacy Practices & Common Core II
June 6 Wednesday: Literacy Practices & Common Core III
June 11 Monday: Working with Diverse Students & Handling The Paperload
June 13 Wednesday: Responding / Resisting Standardized Testing & Teaching Journalism
June 18 Monday: Writing Across the Curriculum & Writing and ELL Students
June 20 Wednesday: The I-Search Paper & Multigenre Writing
June 25 Monday: Final Project and Class Evaluation
Examine Other On-line Secondary English Methods Courses
A few additional resources -- there are so many!:
2 ideas for next time: start with Teaching to Exceed, have a team of 3 examine each change the world project and make recommendations before the project is presented