Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Teacher ID

The point from the Jacqueline Jones Royster and Rebecca Greenberg Taylor article that there should be a focus on teacher identity and not just student identity seems a valid one (214). Also it makes sense that a teacher should look at one's own teaching to see what may be causing problems in the classroom and not just trying to figure out students and classify them. Naturally teaching a class is like most situations in that there is more than one side to consider when confronting the issues that arise. A teacher should not just focus on trying to solve the learning problems of a student. The teacher should also take a thorough look at the methods and style being used in trying to educate the class. Though as it is brought up in the article, the style of pedagogy is not the only source to look at about how one works with a class. There is also one's own background to consider in how that may affect why a teacher does certain things and how one relates to a class (Royster 214).
The keeping of a teacher journal, like the one Taylor kept, seems a very good idea (Royster 219). I think a journal would especially be a good idea for new teachers, but also any teacher could keep one to see if it helps them identify problems they come across with their students. I hope that I might think of using a journal when I start teaching. I may not keep it religiously as Greenberg probably did since she was also doing it for research, though writing down events that are troublesome could be good to look back on later. Hopefully that way I can look at the events more clearly to see what would be best to be done.

Works Cited
Royster, Jacqueline Jones and Rebecca Greenberg Taylor. "Constructing Teacher Identity in
the Basic Writing Classroom." Landmark Essays on Basic Writing. Landmark Essays. 18. Ed.
Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Mahwah, NJ: Hermagoras P, 2001. 213-33.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Can't You Read the Sign?

Literacy is not as simple of a subject as many might think. If you ask most people if one has to be able to read and write to be literate, they would probably reply, "Of course!" If you asked them if someone who could not read could be considered literate in that person's society, they would likely assume no. Yet if the language they speak has no written form, no one in the society would be considered literate under those terms.
I had not thought about defining literacy too much before this class. Yet Jerrie Cobb Scott in her article, "Literacies and Deficits Revisited," brings up some good points about how the way one defines literacy greatly influences how writing is taught. She makes a good point that being exclusive in such an important definition could exclude and hinder the teaching process (Scott 206).
Her suggestion and "challenge" of "deep restructuring of curricula" is also an excellent idea it seems (Scott 208). When one just changes the problems seen on the surface it is doubtful anything will have truly changed in a program and improvement is probably less likely. Also it makes sense that looking at the various aspects of the education system minutely is vital to making real and effective change (209). It is one thing for a teacher or student to make a complaint about process of education, but it is much more important to figure it why that particular problem is occurring. Hopefully, people in education will not assume a quick fix will do when the classrooms might require a total makeover.

Works Cited
Scott, Jerrie Cobb. "Literacies and Deficits Revisited." Landmark Essays on Basic Writing.
Landmark Essays. 18. Ed. Kay Halasek and Nels P. Highberg. Mahwah, NJ: Hermagoras P, 2001.