Research Tidbit for Busy Teachers: Inoue’s Anti-Racist Writing Assessment Ecologies

This post was also published on The Paper Graders.

Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future by Asao B. Inoue, 2015, Parlor Press

I was so glad to come across this book when I was finishing up my manuscript over the summer. (Look for Point-Less: An English Teacher’s Guide to More Meaningful Grading from Heinemann, available March 31!)

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Looking back at #NCTE19 (from Tuesday in Colorado in 23 inches of snow)

This post was also published on The Paper Graders.

“Process all you heard today and set your intentions from here on out.”

–Sara Ahmed

I intended to write this post on the plane on the way home, but the internet wasn’t working. I reviewed my notes in my writer’s notebook instead to figure out what I would write about.

I intended to write this post yesterday, but all I could muster after four packed NCTE/travel days was yoga class, and making pizza dough, and Scrabble with my family.

I hope to get this post done today, but the sun is already setting and my body is buzzing from the snow shoveling that sucked up a good portion of the afternoon (we got 23 inches of snow in the last 24 hours). And I’m getting hungry–almost time to make some dinner.

So in no particular order, here are my takeaways from NCTE in Baltimore:

1shea martin’s selfie pedagogy. They defined this as “culturally responsive pedagogy that is not student centered. It’s often filtered by educator’s experience, interests, and trauma.” This is when we have the best of intentions to respond to who our students are and what they need, but we’re standing in the way ourselves, making it impossible to see our students clearly. More nuggets from shea: “The Road to liberation is paved by good intentions.” And “Be okay with letting students drive sometimes.” And “In order to be truly liberatory, we have to make our culturally responsive pedagogy unfiltered and student-centered.”

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Attempting to #DisruptTexts in AP Lit

This post was also published at The Paper Graders.

As I’ve articulated already in this blog, our most important conversation about education right now focuses on equity.

I’ve embarked on a bit of a listening tour recently for this topic. I’ve submitted no conference presentation proposals this year, but I’m going to those conferences to focus on listening instead. I’m listening to conversations among educators in Twitter (and retweeting to amplify other voices, too). I’m also reading what I can to learn more–books about teaching, about race in America, books written from marginalized voices.

In my listening tour, I’m grateful for the educators who have launched #DisruptTexts (Tricia Ebarvia, Lorena Germán, Dr. Kimberly N. Parker, and Julia E. Torres–read about them here). I was lucky to get to hear them present at NCTE in Houston, and I’ve definitely lurked at some of their chats on Twitter. They are driving important conversation that has definitely inspired me to think carefully about the texts I put in front of my students.

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Our Most Important Conversation: Equity

This post was also published in The Paper Graders.

This post has been percolating for a while now, ever since I left NCTE in Houston.

Until now, all I’ve been able to cobble together so far are a few disconnected notes in my writer’s notebook:

  • I need to sit with my discomfort.
  • I’m a teacher with privilege OF privileged
  • What can I do?
  • What does it mean to be a good ally?
  • I can’t be so terrified that I’ll mess something up that I don’t even start.
  • When I don’t actively disrupt, I perpetuate.
  • I thought I got it, that I understood the issues. But I have so much to learn.

That last one is the one that’s been nagging at me most.

See, I’m writing a book right now. I’ve been working on it–with the care of a very patient, supportive, and insightful editor–for about 3 and a half years. It’s about grading practices that support readers and writers better than the typical percentage/points-based approach.

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