Changing to Webinar-Style Education: Is it possible?

Changing to Webinar-Style Education: Is it possible?

What do we need to do to really connect to this generation of students? How can we inspire them to accomplish and learn without feeling like we need to do it for them? Can we use the new forum of webinars, workshops, and blog articles with condensed and concise information to hold their attention and get them to do more quality work? Just the other day on an education forum with veteran female Marines, one young woman vented about her fellow college students: “Kids are SLEEPING IN THE FIRST ROW! And when one of my professors calls out a kid by name to answer a question and he gave him this stupid look and didn’t even say a word. SAY SOMETHING! Then we had an essay due last night (an easy essay!) and almost the entire class asked for an extension. Which I get when you really need it! But some of these kids said they just didn’t get around to it in time 🤦🏼‍♀️ Plus 90% of the students I come across have NO respect. Y’all, it’s driving me up a wall. I can’t.” Okay, maybe this is an individual circumstance, or maybe it is a generational issue, or maybe it is because the teacher did not set clear expectations. But maybe, just maybe, we teachers need to admit that the old way of doing things is NOT WORKING!!  Let’s consider that maybe we teachers can use the instant gratification and technological advances of this age to improve our delivery rather than complaining that these students just don’t get it. Because they do.  They do get it.  They...
Teaching Writing is Hard!!

Teaching Writing is Hard!!

What’s so hard about it? Why do English teachers struggle with teaching writing? What can we do about it? What’s so difficult about teaching writing? For most writers, we are so passionate about writing and practice is so much that we learn the skills without realizing it. Think about it like this: What is something that you love so much, practice so often even though it is challenging to learn, and people say to you that you make it look easy? Just because you make it look easy does not mean that it is easy. It’s the love that you have for it that drives you to learn the skills to accomplish it EVEN when it is difficult. That is how writers feel. We cannot not write. So even though it is extremely hard to learn the skills and to keep writing when everything in us wants to quit, life is better when we write. We cannot not write. Just like you cannot not do what you love. That said, writing is HARD!!! The skills that we have had to learn to be good writers have come with failure after failure… these failures you don’t see because they are in our literal or virtual trash bins. Why is it so hard to teach writing? Many times for writers, as you can imagine with your thing, it is hard to understand someone who is not as passionate about what we love. It is also a challenge to identify the steps that we have taken to become good at writing. Sometimes, teachers of writing are better at inspiring writing than we are at...
Why Another Writing Curriculum?

Why Another Writing Curriculum?

I get it.  Writing Curriculum all seems to have been done before, but has it? I have looked through curriculum after curriculum claiming to prepare students for college writing.  However, the curriculum is filled with text after text of comprehension questions that, in all honesty, are a waste of time. Comprehension questions, once students are in high school, teach students ZERO skills that are useful in college.  Professors in college will never ask students to answer comprehension questions, and students will not remember how those questions were formed in order to use them. Why are we still giving students comprehension questions then? Maybe teachers think that it’s a good assessment to find out if the student actually read the text.  Maybe they think that it will teach them something.  I’m honestly not sure.  Most likely, it is just something “we’ve always done.” Even requiring students to write a summary of the text should begin to dwindle at about 9th grade.  EVEN if they are lower-skilled readers.  Yes, I said it.  Even lower-skilled readers should stop doing summaries when they begin high school. Why should the students not do summaries and comprehension questions, you may ask? In my experience teaching some of the lowest skilled readers: including English as a Second Language students and students with learning disabilities, ALL students can learn to pull quotes from the text, respond to them and decipher what the author is doing… all when taught how to do it. These useful skills are learned regardless of reading comprehension.  And I may add that by teaching these skills, students may actually improve in their reading...