This week’s readings and discussions were a valuable experience for me as they helped me see my practice in a more comprehensive way. The major thread connecting the reading materials and discussed topics is the need to find common grounds with students when teaching a language with the focus on the written word. My internship is associated with teaching high-school students, who are individuals with well-developed personalities and beliefs. We discussed numerous aspects of their life and the entire American society while analyzing different works.
These talks made me pay specific attention to Christensen’s (2017) words that literature “should open conversation and dialogue” (p. 182). I could observe the way young people were willing to express their ideas if they felt or believed the text spoke to them and was somehow related to their existence. At first, like many new educators, I felt it difficult to engage students in reading and analysis. Being a keen reader, I could hardly understand how certain works can leave anyone cold.
This week’s sources, especially the book by Christensen (2017), helped me develop a universal model to make students truly involved in the analytical process. I try to find some aspects of the readings that are in different ways related to the discourse existing in social media and among adolescents. I have also attempted to make announcements and intrigue my students, which often makes them more attentive to details and topics discussed. It is believed that young people start investing more time in watching rather than reading, which may be true to a certain extent. However, I can also state that young people have this need to explore and share, express themselves and see what others may think or do. We addressed various topical issues with my students and learned a lot from each other.
Christensen, L. (2017). Reading, writing, and rising up: Teaching about social justice and the power of the written word (2nd ed.). Rethinking Schools.