August and September were a little too busy for me. I read, and I read a pretty impressive number of pages, but I felt pressured.
In October I want to try to read slowly and deeply. I want to refresh and reset my intentions for my classroom practice; worrying about and stressing over deadlines, duties, and grading kind of sucked all the joy out of my life, especially in the last month.
Here's my teacher mini-rant: sometimes grades feel like a false currency. Why should we trust the currency of grades when they don't seem to reflect real learning? Look at the increase in the number of As awarded at all educational levels, including college. Does this increase in the number of As awarded to students reflect an increase in learning? Are students demonstrating that much of an increase in mastery and proficiency? Just asking.
Here's another thing: why are we still reflecting the factory model in schools? John Frederick Taylor was the inventor of "Taylorism" a so-called "scientific" method of managing workers in which tasks were broken down into small increments. Taylor prized efficiency and speed, and there is no room for collaboration in his methods. That's where I feel we still are in education. My school day is managed for me, and nearly every minute is controlled by administration, leaving little to no time for me to collaborate with colleagues.
In reading: I'm still working my way through Crime and Punishment, teaching Frankenstein and Lord of the Flies.
I think I have one more review scheduled. Then I really want to pick something for sheer pleasure....Maybe something by David Mitchell, since I loved The Bone Clocks so much.
Social Justice Book Club:
Kerry of Entomology of a Bookworm has started a Social Justice Book Club, and I'm so excited for a reread of Men We Reaped. This is one book I feel really deserves a rereading. The prose is beautiful and heartbreaking; the memoir is devastating, gorgeous, truthful. The kick-off is tomorrow, but I encourage anyone interested to get on board with this book club. I was so disappointed that I didn't get to participate in the last selection, The New Jim Crow.
Interested in signing up? Here's the link for the sign-up: Social Justice Book Club: Men We Reaped.
Are you reading anything amazing right now? How was your September?