Monday, June 14, 2010

The Thrill of the Chase

I knew when I was accepted to this institute that I would have so many ideas to take with me. But what surprised me about Milton Coleman's session this morning was that I would take with me this sense of mission and purpose.

I thought I had that already. However, now I see that to really affect change and inject life into my program, I will need to be unafraid, and unabashed, in my passion for writing and journalism. For me, these two ideas melded this year with teaching AP Language. Now I'm seeing how I can translate some of that critical thinking and questioning into the newsroom more concretely. And a bonus is that this institute will probably inform some changes I make within my English classroom as well, with or without the AP designation.

What I think we need to instill in our students is a fundamental critical lens. My students at least have a blind spot in their repertoires with this much-needed ability. It's not that they don't have it; rather, they seem to not understand the fundamental interconnectedness/significance of events outside of the discipline I teach. For instance, my kids that are strong in science don't apply the same critical eye in my English class that they do in the lab. And this is even with we as teachers making explicit connections between the disciplines. For some reason, they think it will take more effort (?? I'm guessing here; I'm not really sure of the reason) to apply what they do in Math or Science to my class - and vice versa.

Perhaps Newspaper can help fill that gap with my students. Maybe then they'll have that light bulb moment I'm hoping for.

Meghan Brannon-Reese
East Early College High School
Houston, TX

1 comment: