What are some effective, culturally engaged approaches to teaching English with African-American students?
As a profession, we treat our newest members badly. First-year-fresh-out-of-the-box English teachers come to our schools and not only to we leave them alone, but also we conspire with our administrators to give them the largest classes and the harshest schedules. Worst of all, we expect them to teach grammar, which many new teachers complain is the one aspect of language arts instruction for which they are least prepared. Unfortunately, new teachers also tend to be assigned more of the students who are having the greatest difficulty learning standard usage. The truth is teaching grammar is difficult, even for many veteran teachers.
When I began my teaching career, the veteran teacher I was replacing did me a great favor. As I stood in the empty classroom that fall, wondering where to begin, she returned with all her files, lesson plans, books, and 40 years worth of advice that she graciously shared. This website is my attempt to return that favor. For over ten years, I have been particularly intrigued by the issues and challenges related to the teaching of grammar, especially to African American students. I share with you my questions, struggles, findings, suggestions, and approaches in what I have named Culturally Engaged Instruction. I encourage you to thoughtfully explore the site, and I welcome your questions or responses. I am deeply indebted to the scholars and specialists of the Carnegie Foundation, as well as my colleagues and students from the Mississippi Delta for their patience and support.
View the links at the top of the page to learn more about my thoughts on Culturally Engaged Instruction (CEI), the teaching of grammar, and Writers' Workshop.
To see a list of all the materials on this site, please visit the archive