And So It Begins

In a stack of papers called Writing.

  • Jan
  • 23
  • 2006

This should end up being a good thing. I told all classes today about the new plan: class anthology, everyone submits 4 pieces total (2 written, 2 audio), reading as launch pad for writing, no more writing-assignment handouts, deadlines/assignments on the board, working on writing during class. I didn’t get even a single “Hooray,” but to expect that would be too much. Even if this does sound like a good idea, the most I’d expect is a slight nod of the head. Dat’s coo, dawg…

And I feel good about all this. I just finished putting up the contact information for some publications under the heading “PUBLISHING” on a wall. I don’t know if it’ll attract attention, but that’s where I’ll be posting contests and other goodies. So far, I have De-Bug, Youth OutLook, Portico Student, and Teen Ink. I’ll look through a Writer’s Market and pull out some addresses at some point; I don’t want students to feel like the only publications they have a shot at are teen publications. Their stuff could just as possibly make it into a big publication, though the teen publications are more willing to publish a young author.

Any suggestions about other publications I should pimp to the kids? Any contests you know of?

In trying to give the students a reason to care about their writing, this is as much for me as it is for the kids. This has provided a different focus for me. If I can stick to this, students will have had a totally different experience in this classroom than they would have elsewhere and they will still be as prepared for college as I would have made them any other year. Perhaps even more so through all the response I’ll have them do.

I also am going to try really hard to avoid any literary analysis for the rest of the year. Oh, sure, we’ll discuss such analysis, there may even be short pieces of written analysis, but the focus will be on using the literature as something to imitate and something to respond to. Here’s my Krakauer for today because I love that sentence pattern so much and I had a good time writing one yesterday:

Looking out at the whole year, one side on the standards and the other on revamping education to make things relevant, I feel better about what I can give them, imagine the great writing I’ll witness taking place, and anticipate how this will all play out.

I can’t wait until we figure out how to publish all this in May. Yet another reason to look forward to the end of the year (and a much healthier one than I normally have).

1 comment

1. Teacher Sol says:

[1/24/2006 - 11:50 am]

Reading your entries is like reading my experiences in the classroom. We have similar classroom strategies, I teach Language Arts too.

I’m a special ed jr HS teacher (Emotionally Disturbed cases) here in Washington DC. Teaching in an inner-city school is very challenging; it’s good to know and connect with other co-educators who are having similar problems in their district.