Guys. It’s Week 5! That realization fills me with both panic and relief. Mostly panic. We haven’t even started any test prep.
Nonetheless, it was another good week. The kids managed to write essays without me when I was away at training, and we finally started jumping in to BIG ideas and the rhetorical triangle. Next up, more critical reading! Wee!
We are working through more strategies to look for as they read challenging texts this week. Tone, imagery and illustration, syntax, and rhetorical appeals. It’s a lot to tackle in a week, but they are ready to rock and roll (Thanks to their AWESOME Honors teacher!).
I’ve got my axes to grind, but one thing I love about my school is that I am not tied to American Lit in AP. I am not forced to tie rhetorical reading in with fiction. I am not forced to include any full length texts at all.
Now, I do. We read Gatsby in a thematic unit just for the sheer beauty of it, but no one is standing on my shoulders telling me I have to get to anything.
That’s one of the reasons, I am able to stay skills focused. This week, we are reading passages from Mary Roach’s Stiff, “Salvation” by Langston Hughes, Queen Elizabeth’s speech at Tilbury, and Toni Morrison’s endorsement letter to Obama. Because I have the freedom, I can choose texts by what skill they mentor or demonstrate. That’s incredibly rewarding.
Unfortunately, I know that isn’t the case for all my readers. Many are tied to American Literature (Gatsby, The Crucible, etc) while others are caged in by “lock step” curriculum. Some unfortunate souls get strapped with both.
For me, Teaching Sincerely means you adapt to find your own passion in the “have to’s”. I’ve spent most of my career finding just how far I can bend the rules to suit what my kids need, and I am passionate about helping others do the same. If you are feeling locked in, reach out. I am ready with ALL the ways around those shackles.
Have a great week, AP world!