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I Can’t Decide

on September 10, 2013

I can’t decide what I want to learn more about. Actually, let me rephrase this, I can’t narrow down my list of everything I want to learn more about to just one thing. So, inspired by Maggie’s blog post, I am going to narrow down my selections to a top 7 list of things I want to learn more about.

Drumroll …



1 and 2 – Reading and Writing Workshops

How are they organized/structured? How can I defend using this method to administration, parents, and students? I want to learn about the art of mini-lessons.

3 – Literature Circlesbooks

Ever since Dr. Ellington suggested that these may be a way to satisfy my need for some measure of control in my classroom while also giving a considerable amount of freedom to my students, I have been fascinated with learning more about lit circles. P.S. Thank you Dr. Ellington for asking the library to order more books on this topic – excited to check them out!

4 – How to Motivate Students

We talk a lot about how our “teacher-selves” play a large part in whether or not our students are motivated in our classrooms. But what if my students just don’t like me? Are there other strategies and such that I can use to motivate students?



5 – Strategies for Speech and TheaterTheatre stage with red curtain

Our main focus has been on English classes, which makes sense because that is what each of us will be teaching someday. However, I am a Language Arts major, so I will potentially be teaching Speech and Theater classes as well. What would a workshop approach look like for these classes? Would that be possible? I need to focus some thought on how I want to approach these kinds of courses.


6 – What books, plays, poetry, etc. do I/should I expose my students to?

I want to read texts as a class, as well as incorporate student choice in my classroom. How do I decide what texts we should all read? This is a very daunting task to my mind right now. Also, I think it would be helpful to compile a list of resources/ways to share literature with students. Mostly because my classroom library won’t be super impressive when I first start out, I will definitely be adding to it as time goes on though!

7 – Classroom Management

This topic is intimidating, because I already know that this is an area in which I am going to fail a lot at first. What can I do to prepare myself before I get out in the field?

There are numerous other topics that I should learn more about, but these top 7 are what come into my mind as I write this blog post. Also, I feel like some of these topics are broad enough that I can devote a considerable amount of study time on them. Now the question is … where do I begin?




2 responses to “I Can’t Decide

  1. What about exploring one teacher’s classroom in depth who is also interested in many of these topics? Linda Rief is a middle-school teacher in New Hampshire who has a terrific, very readable book about her classroom called Seeking Diversity. I think you would enjoy this book quite a bit and it would be a model for how you can have more teacher-directed assignments in your course. Rief uses workshop, but she also does whole-class novels and nonfiction, a Holocaust unit, and other activities you might want to incorporate. I have a copy you can borrow! You might also like Louann Johnson’s book, Teaching Outside the Box, which is about classroom management but from an English teacher’s perspective. Jeffrey Wilhelm’s You Gotta BE the Book includes many activities for reader’s theater and dramatic approaches to teaching literature. That’s still a lot to start with, but at least it gives you a focus!

    • This sounds great!! I have already added Linda Rief’s book and Teaching Outisde the Box to my Amazon cart!! Still contemplating about Jeffrey Wilhelm’s book. Can I use my study of these two books to create my presentation?

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