By Teachers, For Teachers
If you’re looking for a truly inspiration way to motivate your students to achieve, try this lesson based on Carolyn Rubenstein’s book Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors. Using the story of a 12-year-old cancer survivor, you will challenge your students to think critically, to express themselves, to organize and plan for success, and most importantly, to achieve great things no matter what obstacles stand in their way.
For years I’ve heard administrators tell me that I’m working too hard. They aren’t referring to my coming in early, staying late, or aggressively calling shotgun on committee seats. They’re talking about the way I plan and execute my high school English lessons. “Tabernacle, let them do the work. You just guide them.” But they’ll miss that allusion to the King James Bible or Star Wars, Episode IV, I think to myself. They’ll misinterpret the word “wherefore!”
How can we encourage teen girls to stick with math and science? Studies have shown for years that up until the age of about twelve, girls are at least as likely as boys to show interest in Math and Science courses. They show equal or superior skill in these areas and, when asked, will announce their desire to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. By all accounts, more than half of the scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and techies in this country should be female. But at the magic (tragic?) age of 12, a transformation occurs. Researchers who study this phenomenon call it “The Wall”, and equate it with the “glass ceiling” that can keep women from reaching the same level as men in many corporations to this day.
“The best way to understand how to teach second language learners is to try to learn a second language yourself.” That’s what the speaker at the meeting said. And so I embarked on a journey.
In Wounded by School, Kristin Olson describes what she learned after interviewing 100 students on the margins. She realized that the conventional classroom fails to serve 70-80% of modern learners who are “incredibly wired, connected and collaborating and used to doing a lot more self-learning.” Olson shares her experience and her theories on how to heal these wounds and prevent them in the future.