Check This Out

I’ve written on here a number of times discussing writing in school. I don’t think writing is taught nearly as comprehensively as it should be in most classrooms. But one school district in Maryland is trying to pave the path toward change.

Teaching literacy no longer falls solely on the shoulders of English teachers. Every teacher in every subject is now on the literacy train. Students will now be writing and thinking analytically in every class. It could be chemistry or physics, statistics or world history. The district’s goal is to better prepare its students for college or the workforce because how many college classes or jobs don’t require a good bit of writing?

I think this is great. And hopefully it is implemented well and other school districts follow suit. I’m sure some of you think students should be thinking and writing analytically in school already, but what do you think of this district really emphasizing it now?

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16 thoughts on “Check This Out

  1. I think it’s important in every subject! Well done that school!!

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  2. My son’s school claims to put literacy at the heart of every subject – though I’m not sure how this is implemented. Everyone should know how to construct sentences, to be able to communicate clearly. Even if they don’t need it in their work, they might need those skills to get a job in the first place. I guess a lot of people don’t notice if something is written competently, but big mistakes scream from the page.

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  3. This was part of my high school experience over ten year ago. It was called “Writing Across the Curriculum.” I think I might have mentioned it before. But we had to write papers and essays and read in every single subject. Math, Science, Music, Drama, History, etc. I’m very thankful for that education, and I believe every school should implement what this Maryland school is doing. It can only make their students stronger and more well-rounded for college and life in general.

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  4. My kids’ school teaches writing in every subject. Even in PE… they do history/research reports. My daughter did a report on the history of the Mariners, and my son did one on the life of Wayne Gretzky. In Science, they answer a lot of “think about it” kinds of questions to get kids thinking beyond the experiment or text. In Social Studies, their teacher is constantly asking them, “Why do you think X happened the way it did?”

    I’ve bragged a lot on my kids’ school before… so none of this should come as a shock. LOL But I definitely appreciate that schools are leaning back in this direction. I had the opportunity to study under an amazing debate coach in high school… critical thinking became “the way everything got done.” I appreciate what it did for me, and I love that my kids are being guided down a similar path in their education.

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    • Oh wow. I hardly had to write in English class. I definitely didn’t have to write reports like you just said in classes too often, if ever. But there is only good that comes from a curriculum like this one or like your kids have.

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      • In my high school, our “English” classes were a joke. I used to do the writing assignments, but there were always alternatives. I remember writing an in-depth newspaper with multiple columns on transcendentalism… I got a C and the teacher told me I had “put too much effort into it.” Another girl made a picture collage, got up in front of the class and was like, “This picture of a tree represents Walden, because… you know… Thoreau was a transcendentalist.” And yeah, she got an A.

        It was my AP classes and my debate class where I got a real education. LOL

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      • Wow. Please tell me you’re joking about your assignment grade compared to hers. How? That’s ridiculous. I don’t think those words should ever come out of a teacher’s mouth. Or even a manager/supervisor. That might be one of the more outrageous things I’ve heard about writing.

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      • My mom actually went in and talked to her about that comment. It’s kind of monumental, because my mom was totally hands-off once I hit junior high. But that one made her pretty mad… the teacher defended herself saying that I was a “brown noser” and that I continually tried too hard. I was like, “No, I’m doing the assignment to the best of my ability.” My mom, right there in front of the teacher, turned to me and said, “Here’s the solution… you sit in the back of the room, draw pictures, pass notes with your friends, play tic-tac-toe… whatever. Goof off, do as little as possible to skirt by, and get your A. You’ll be done with this teacher in 4 months and you’ll never have to deal with her again.” Then we got up and walked out… I did exactly that… and got an A. Worst. Teacher. Ever.

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      • Hahaha go mom! Great story. I once had a teacher in middle school who thought I was faking that I didn’t already speak Spanish. Now that I think about it I’m just like, “Well, way to stereotype because of my skin color and last name.” I had another Spanish teacher in high school think the exact same thing. I’d literally never spoken any Spanish before eighth grade. Oh well.

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