Posted by blk1 on September 17, 2008
How about you? Is there a book you’d love to read that hasn’t been written? What do you love reading about, and how could you write about it? What fascinates you that could become the subject for your next story, essay, poem, or blog post?
I am obsessed with the effects of high stakes testing on the future of our educational system. I left my classroom as the pressures were just in their earliest stages. I taught a “safe” school, where administrators were more in a competitive race with rival schools for the highest numbers of passing students.
In my last five years I had my pick of classes so my eighth graders were honors students, able to enjoy the challenges of my classroom, business as usual and the scores were high without much focus directly on teaching to the test. But as I work with young teachers at the Hudson Valley Writing Project, their experiences are very different. They are feeling the pressure, I a pressure I never felt and they are on my mind, especially with the high teacher drop out rate as high as it is.
How can teachers motivate their kids when they are feeling such pressure to teach daily to a test?
This is the book I’d like to write…
Personally, I’ve been thinking about how difficult it is to blend families to mesh with a marriage union. There’s your immediate family unit to begin: parents and siblings. There’s tension, but it’s manageable. Then the parents push the kids out into the world in search of partners and they bring back mates and the next generation begins. A mine field! Sure, the ideal is to have everyone get along and become one big happy family, but does that ever really happen?
So that’s what I’m thinking about writing…the consequences of high stakes tests and the family unit. But I can only suggest the topics, I’m really not ready to work on either topic.
Any book suggestions?
Write On Wednesday “Extra Credit” Prompt: Make a list of 10 things you’re interested in learning more about…choose one and write about it in a way that inspires a reader to want to know more about it as well.
1. I always want to get inside a guitar and walk around in it, digging deeper into classical, jazz, blues, rock.
2. I would love to work on a movie set, follow around a director and document his/her work.
3. I would love to be a radio DJ…
4. I would love to direct a new version of the play Rent! I spent many years working on high school stages, working with kids and loved it. As I finished one play, I would be planning the next one. As I came to the end of my teaching career, I felt that I had directed enough plays but there’s always one more…I think I’d like to take on a fresh look at Rent.
5. I love learnings more about photography, and digital storytelling and exploring the creative power of the mac. What’s coming down the road, next???
I’m running out of energy…
One more….I would love to work on a political campaign, working hand in hand with a candidate. I was jealous as I watched the democratic convention. I’d love to be on the inside of the Barack staff. At least I have a t-shirt, a button and a bumper sticker and I send a contribution every time I have wake up in the middle of the night from a Palin nightmare. I need to do even more…phone calls, a trip to Pennslyvania.
I’m sure I will add more but it’s 11 PM. Time for Charlie Rose and the mess with the stock market. How will that affect life as we know it?