Long story short, I’ve decided to become a teacher…again. I’ve accepted a job at an at-risk school in north Mississippi where I’ll teachEnglish IV and Comp I through the local community college as a dual-enrollment course.
Because of various reasons, the school uses ACT scores as a metric for student growth in 11th & 12th grade. I won’t post my opinion on that here because it is what it is for the moment. This means that I have to create ACT-aligned assessments that focus not necessarily on the content of the ACT but rather on the format of the test so that students are not “shocked” when they encounter the ACT.
This also means that the school is more skills focused than content focused. Obviously, skills are more important than content in the long game, but I do think there’s something to be said about teaching content in a cultural capital sense… All that to say, it’s not suggested that I teach books/novels until later in the school year, around March or so.
So, I’m on the lookout for engaging short stories or salient excerpts from novels. I’m teaching in a predominately African-American school, so it’d be great to have some non-white authors in there to give the students some representation in the text choices.
I’m reaching out to the collective hive-mind of Tumblr teachers to offer up some of their favorite selections! I’ve been prowling the internet and my books over the past few weeks on my own, but I’d like to reach out to you all to see what you might have to offer up.
Octavia Butler is great, although her books are mostly scifi. We read Dawn in cultural studies, it’s got some great passages. However… there’s a lot of weird sex with aliens in that book, so I don’t know that it’s age appropriate.
And I agree with you, the best way to get kids to read, learn and retain knowledge is to find out what they can identify with and what they’re interested in.
We read Bloodchild (which contains some of the aforementioned alien sex) in my English class. It was a small private school with combined 11/12 classes.