When we think about engagement we almost immediately focus on the student who won’t talk or just doesn't engage. But what about the student who is over engaged? On today’s podcast we’re continuing our series of conversations with Cornelius Minor. Today we’re talking about a student he has nicknamed “Prez” short for president of the class.
What do you do about the student in your class who doesn't like you? On today’s podcast, we’re continuing our series of conversations with Cornelius Minor. In his classroom, he’s facing the question: how do I recognize what the difference is between “can’t learn” and “won’t learn” ?
“I think my parents hate me”
That is how a student, who we’ll call “Earl,” recently started a conversation with his teacher, Cornelius Minor, after class one day. On today’s podcast we’re talking about advocating for our students with Cornelius Minor. Mr. Minor is a frequent keynote speaker and Lead Staff Developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in New York where he works with teachers, school leaders, and leaders of community-based organizations to support literacy reform in cities. In his work, Cornelius draws not only on his years teaching middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn, but also on time spent skateboarding, shooting hoops, and working with kids. He’s also currently writing his first book for Heinemann.
Cornelius says it best; "we may not have the answers for every situation we face, but we can’t choose to do nothing." So what did Cornelius do? How did he advocate for Earl and all of his students? Listen below to find out.
by Anna Gratz Cockerille
Starting at even the youngest ages, students are well aware of social issues. Even before they begin school, they know what is fair and unfair, what it means to take care of each other, and what it means to behave in ways that aren’t socially accepted. Through the elementary school years, students begin to understand the power of social groups as they feel the effects of bullying and cliques.
In middle school and high school, students begin to care about social issues that exist outside of their school and home environments. Poverty, race, gender, and class become topics of conversation. Students also begin to understand that they can take a stand on issues and that their voices matter.
See below for a full transcript of the chat.
Written by Anna Gratz Cockerille
If you are a middle school teacher who has chosen to teach writing using a workshop model, you know that it is possible for students to choose writing topics that fuel their passions and to write to high standards simultaneously. You know that giving students freedom to cycle through a process of writing does not mean they will be unproductive, quite the contrary. You know that it is possible to prepare students for standardized assessments while also teaching them to live a writerly life.