Teacher Innovation #12: Teaching with Identity and Care Ethics in Mind

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Sorry for the delay for any faithful readers, but today’s post is the last in my Summer Teacher Innovation Series. I am so grateful for the wonderful educators I have worked with and know contributing their voices to my blog. They made this series very special, and I’m honored to call many of them friends.

I wrote today’s post. Originally, I had lined up two other teachers as potential contributors to close the series out, but the start of school simply would not allow it. (I fully plan to get them in on my next guest series, though.) This post provides my own ‘teacher innovation.’ If you have followed the blog over the last few years, you know I have a passion for identity exploration and care ethics in the classroom. While I love that I dedicated my dissertation to these concepts, my current role at my school limits my traditional avenue of using the classroom as a space to encourage the growth of both. So, I have spent the last two weeks embedding these important concepts into my time as my school’s Work-Based Learning coordinator. Before you become too skeptical, keep in mind literacy and multimodal texts are everywhere in our lives, not simply confined to a classroom. In any case, I hope you find what’s inside the post insightful. Thanks as always for reading.

Previous Series Entries: Post #1 // Post #2 // Post #3 // Post #4 // Post #5 // Post #6 // Post #7 // Post #8 // Post #9 // Post #10 // Post #11 Continue reading

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Zines and Identities Emerge: An Anecdotal Look at When Participation and Rhetoric Collide

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Students began turning in their mini-zines on Friday with more to come today. As mentioned in a previous post, I pointed my students in the direction of using their zines as a mode to express their knowledge of and use of rhetorical strategies. The early results are promising. While I do love using zines as a tool, they are ultimately merely a tool. What has been fun and exciting to watch unfold in the classroom is the overall enjoyment students have shown in the process, and specifically watching them show aspects of who they are that are so easy to hide or reserve for only a few. Identity is fluid and social as well as a part of a person that is multiplicitous and is in-process as well as embedded over time. Adolescence is an important moment in our lives when we explore our identity. My current research is in part looking for where the ELA classroom may serve as an important space in school for students to do this exploration while also a space that empowers them to act. What that action is cannot really be predicted with certainty, but I will venture to state that a student acting with a belief they are welcome to and encouraged to act is inspirational. I will also venture to state that a student choosing openly to not act, to resist or push against, is just as inspirational. Sounds complex, right? Inside today’s post, I share what my students have been up to so far with some anecdotal understandings I have of their process. Continue reading

The Zine Challenge: Early Reflections

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One student expresses her concern with how girl’s lacrosse is played and is arguing for the sport to be more physical with the addition of more protection like boy’s lacrosse has.

I have now been collecting data for a month, which also means my students are in the thick of zine making. The ride thus far has been relatively smooth and entirely fascinating. I did lose an entire day’s audio recordings due to my computer falling asleep and refusing to wake back up, BUT I have my reflections of the day, photos, and video recordings still. I was a little devastated at first, but quickly reasoned that I cannot possibly be the only one who has had this happen. The fascinating part of the study and the class in general right now is how I’m seeing everything they do through my researcher’s lens. While simply anecdotal right now before analysis, my students’ actions in the classroom and the discussions they are having appear rich in both identity exploration and relationship building. Continue reading

Think Piece #1: CCSS and ELA Teacher Identity

“We do not teach in an age of whitewashed, shared experiences where each pupil is of the same complexion, background, and creed, nor in a time when the canon of white privileged authors of yore can inexplicably cut across cultural identities and satisfy a diverse student body’s need for their voices to be reflected in a standardized curriculum”

One of my classes this semester requires me to complete a few think pieces. I have decided to share them with a broader audience. Take them up as you will, but this first one I really enjoyed cultivating. I’d love for others to share their thoughts and start a broader conversation. Continue reading