Thanks, Bill — Now I'm thinking again!

rsion coming    Bill’s written about two interesting items in a recent post.  The first is the idea of a learning contract that he intends to use with his students in the fall.  The second is the notion of "seductive teachers."  I’ll let him :

At least with
my ninth grade classes, I’ll be using a learning contract. I’m still
tinkering with the contract itself but if you would like to see what I
have so far and give some feedback go here.
I view this approach as a way to allow a lot of student choice within an ever more restrictive curriculum environment.

Read a great book this summer as part of my work for the Boise State National Writing Project Summer Institute. Deciding To Lead: The English Teacher as Reformer
by Denny Wolfe and Joseph Antinarella. The authors issue a call for all
of us,but especially English teachers, to become what they call
"seductive teachers."

Seductive teachers "sell"
students on the learning opportunities that school provides. They win
over students and attract them to seeing their classrooms as safe
havens that can nurture their growth. Many students, increasing in
number, need to be sold on this vision. Seductive English teachers can
win over their colleagues to a similar vision; that is, teachers and
administrators working cooperatively in environments that nurture their
growth, as well. By extolling and practicing virtues inherent in the
humanities–and in their well-honed pedagogical processes–teachers can
help build such working environments. They can help build dynamic
schools where dissenting voices are heard, valued, respected, and
considered.

    Follow the links — good food for thought.  I’m a fan of the idea of negotiated workloads and grades for students.  We need high standards for all kids, but we should have multiple ways of showing proficiencies that engage students’ interests and needs.  Your thoughts?

One thought on “Thanks, Bill — Now I'm thinking again!

  1. My thoughts? I wish you had been my English teacher.

    I have had “seductive teachers”, but they are rare. They are the ones the students merely call “good teachers”.

    IMHO, classrooms have become mired in bueracracy and rules. Aside from stiffling learning, it replaces local knowledge about how best to perform a task in a specific circumstance with rigid global rules.

    Anything you can do to (and I want to kick myself for using such a pop-psych/PC word) empower your students will help.

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