Summer Learning

June 26, 2011

Three other English teachers at my high school and I decided we'd like to spend part of our summer reading a couple of professional texts.  The buzz word right now is PLC (professional learning community), but we just call it "book club."  We met Friday to discuss the first book, Readicide, by Kelly Gallagher.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. book.  Gallagher speaks out about how No Child Left Behind is killing reading in public schools.  He is a critic of "test prep curriculum" and I agree with literally every single thing he has to say about the teaching of reading and literature. 

Here's a clip of an interview with Gallagher about his reasons for writing this book.  If you open it YouTube, you'll find a link the the second part of the interview. 

This book, along with our approaching shift to Common Core standards (, has sort of reignited my excitement about teaching.  We are dumbing down our kids in order to show gains on mandatory testing.  It's ridiculous.  I won't turn this post into a rant against NCLB, but I would suggest that any concerned educator, parent, or citizen do some research.  Start by spending some time at and reading under "Our Reports."  Look closely at what students are learning by grade level in the U.S. compared to other countries. 

I'm nearly finished with my second professional text of the summer, Write Beside Them by Penny Kittle.  I'll have more on that later, but I can say that I'm excited about a new approach to teaching writing!

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  1. This is great info for me, school counselor in training. Thanks!


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