Saturday, August 15, 2015

Back to School: Who and Why

Are my bulletin boards beautiful? Does my unit give enough time and enough challenge? Does my first day plan have enough love, enough structure, and enough learning all packaged into the short 30-minute period? Is my syllabus right? Is my Web page ready? Are my lesson plans engaging? Do I have all my handouts? Army textbooks all numbered? What have I forgotten?



Remember: The first thing I am teaching is not the content, it’s the students. There will be as many different expectations, fears, needs, and levels of readiness as there will be faces in my classroom on Tuesday. 

I will love them by…
  • Letting them know they matter: getting to know them, and letting them get to know me.
  • Creating an environment that is safe and orderly enough they are free to take the risk of trying.
  • Providing units, lessons, and activities that have purpose clearly articulated to increase their motivation to learn. 
  • Giving instruction that is engaging to increase the likelihood they will learn.
Why and what should these students I love learn?

Language is a gift of God--powerful in it's possibilities of use for truth, beauty, love, and justice, but also for deceit, manipulation, selfishness, and hatred. Rhetoric is ways of rendering language even more powerful, and understanding it will help students more effectively enter the conversations all around them in written, spoken, and visual text as critical thinkers, readers, writers, speakers, listeners. This ability will help them avoid becoming victims themselves, develop their God-given gifts of communication, and love their neighbors by serving them with those gifts as effective citizens of local, national, and global communities. 

This is how learning in English class equips students to walk with God and impact the world for Him.

So much more motivating than getting a 5 on the AP English Language and Composition test in May, thought we'll shoot for that, too, as a byproduct.

Getting excited about getting started.

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