Today I got asked the question, “Why do we have to take English?” The student went on to explain that he reads on his own and doesn’t think he will be writing much in his future career as he is planning on going into a trade. My response to him was that the goal of my class is to get him to think critically, be able to extend and add on to what he’s reading and finally to become a more proficient writer. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t really think much of my answers.

So now I’m thinking:
– are we missing the boat in English class?
– do we spend too much time focusing on content rather than encouraging critical thought?
– do we have enough real world connections in our lessons?
– are we actually in line with what students will be doing in post secondary and/or futures?

Just my musings on a Wednesday night…


2 thoughts on “Why English Class?

  1. Today I found myself telling a class that is did not matter what we read together, but that we practiced thinking critically about it all..they were flabbergasted. One girl said, “But, healigan, you LOVE Beowulf!” And I do, but mostly because it hardwired me to recognize a hero when I saw one walking down the hall–they liked that. The conversation happens every year, and the answer is taken differently every year. Critical thinking and writing is the skill to be practiced to create successful people. Why not read the stories that nudge the best of us out into the open?

  2. Everyone uses writing skills. I have my students write a letter to a utility company about a conflict in their bill. They have to get their point across without being offensive. It also supplies to real life.

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