I have been teaching at a school for at-risk youth for the past six years. This school has students that range from 6th to 12th grade. During my time teaching, I have taught English for 6th thru 10th grades, and literature, journalism, poetry classes.
I try to merge out of the box material with technology and both practical and nontraditional assessment. I try to find the edgy (out of the box) stuff that many teachers don't touch. We wonder why our kids (or maybe even YOU) don’t read, well first off it is the hardest way to be entertained. Reading is not passive! Second, every time a teacher made you read something it wasn’t something you would pick (and if it was, count your lucky stars), it was safe, antiseptic, boring. In third grade, probably too young my father let me read his copy of “Night Shift” it scared the crap out of me. But that visceral reaction went along way towards me being a lifelong reader. I wanted to read more. Compare that to this story, as I first started teaching, the common core had just come to town and one of the books that seem to come with it was "Touching Spirit Bear" and it has stuck. I have never taught it, indeed I have never read it (so sorry if it’s your favorite and take this for what it’s worth), but I got in the habit of asking 6th, 7th, and 8th graders that were reading it or had what they thought of it. To date, my little non-scientific study has never yielded any rating better than “It's Okay”. How can we expect our students to fall in love with reading if we only show them Okay? Don’t get me wrong I love a lot of the classics, but not as many of the “standards”. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any gold on the mountain, but why ignore the rest of the range? We have to give kids things that excite them. Good writers are good readers. We learn to talk by listening, we learn to write by reading. However, after we have given our students that awesome story we have to have them do something. Hopefully, that is where Needful Things come in. I know that once I found things I wanted to teach, I couldn’t find materials, so I started down the road to making my own. NOTE: Any story or teaching material must be read and reviewed for appropriateness for your students, classroom, school, district, community, state, and country. Some stories are heavily edited and censored before I teach them, others not at all. I implore you to practice due diligence before using any material for anywhere. Thank you check out my store.
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Associate of Arts in General Studies from Grand Rapids Community College. Bachelor of Arts in Education from Grand Valley State University. Masters of Arts in Educational Leadership from Cornerstone University.
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English Language Arts, Reading, Vocabulary, Science, Social Studies - History, Arts & Music, EFL - ESL - ELD, Other (ELA), Literature, Cooking, Short Stories, Writing, Writing-Essays, Poetry, Informational Text, Close Reading