I am a struggling reader

I am a struggling reader. Despite a Mentor book that guides me through Joyce’s novel, and a Calypso app that maps Bloom’s day, my treacherous way through ULYSSES has taken over two of the ten mythical years Odysseus himself spent reaching the end of his journey. Locating a conference room after threading one’s way from the MGM tower room, navigating by signage, is a bit like following the thread of a Pauline argument. MIDDLEMARCH is a wonderful book: so far. After the first 18 months my Kindle tells me I am 72% finished. 

      Yesterday Doug Fisher claimed that struggling is situational–we all struggle in particular situations, and when we don’t know the goal. 
   Let us as teachers make our goals clear, assess frequently to see how we are doing at helping students reach those goals, offer feedback to let students know how close they are to reaching the goals, and feeding “forward” to help them get there. 
   Additionally, I suggest doing all we can to make the goals personal, to allow students to set individual learning goals. My own Brit Lit and some freshmen students have recently done this for writing. I hope I can move them toward their own writing and reading goals and allow that progress to stand as a weighty component of the grade I still need to give. 
   What about your own reading goals? George Eliot offers rich pleasures I am enjoying, but is a bit like a chocolate truffle: you don’t want too much at a time. Joyce is a bit of a slog, like heading for the gym before and after Thanksgiving Day, so you can appreciate the holiday itself, when you relax with I Am A White Trash Zombie. Can you infer MY goals?Image

2 Responses to “I am a struggling reader”

  1. 1 Susan Berrend
    November 18, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Hey now…I am a ‘White Trash Zombie” indulger…and I confess to the Don Quixote on the side table needing a restart. Good thing I have not yet bought Moby Dick to also sit in judgment of my reading new-released science fiction.

    When is the jump to the students taking over ‘the grade I need to give’?

    Is you goal a seat in a workshop so you need not stand?

  2. November 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Students now at a point of assessing their own essays, so only a matter of time before the grade is theirs for ownership, accountability. Maybe it accompanies the move toward student-parent conferences?

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