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[Teacher-talklearning] Session 1 reaction

From: Andrew Williams <futurehegemon_at_gmail.com_at_learner.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 11:53:22 -0400

I just watched the first session, and as a high school English teacher, the
segment that stood out the most to me was Kendra Hearn's session on
developing students as writers.

I very much agree with Ms. Hearn that it is imperative for writers to
reflect on what they have written and self-assess, along with receiving
feedback from their peers and a teacher or editor. Improvement can't exist
without an honest inventory of what works and what doesn't.

In my classroom, I have found varying levels of success in getting students
to engage in meaningful discussion about their own writing, though. The
students with whom I have had success with this type of reflection are most
often the students in my class called English Applications, which is a
class for 12th graders who failed their 11th grade SOLs (Virginia's high
stakes standardized test series). I think the reason for students being
more motivated in this class is a result of the fact that students know
they must pass this test in order to graduate.

That's not to say I don't have students who are interested in improving
their writing in my other classes, but it is a much smaller percentage. For
many of them, education is not a priority at home. Many of my students will
be the first in their families to graduate high school. Does anyone out
there have any ideas for how to show students the value of improving their
writing as its own reward, rather than as a means to an end (ie,
graduation).

Andrew Williams

English Teacher
Asst. Wrestling Coach
Dinwiddie County Public Schools
(703)618-1690
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Received on Tue Oct 22 2013 - 11:57:33 EDT

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