Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Did I Not? I Thought I Did! (The Dirty Dozen)

So over the weekend I wrote up a list of ... ideas? themes? values, maybe? ... that I try to emphasize in my classroom. I thought I'd posted it over here, too, but I guess maybe I just meant to and then forgot in the madness of Ninny.

1. You should always be kind. No matter what.
2. You should always work hard. No matter what.
3. You should usually follow directions, and you should always make sure you're prepared to accept the consequences when you don't.
4. Reading doesn't have to suck. Even if you've always hated reading in the past, you can find reading materials you enjoy.
5. "Truth vs. falsehood" does not simply parallel "information vs. imagination."
6. You have ideas of value, and they're worth sharing.
7. What you believe matters, so consider the support behind ideas before claiming them.
8. "Being yourself" sometimes means "being different." Sometimes.
9. The choice between doing something for yourself and doing something for others is often difficult and almost always important, and it's a decision that should always be made carefully.
10. Others are more likely to take you seriously when you communicate your ideas in a way that shows a good understanding of language conventions and literary techniques.
11. Cause and effect is not a one-step process, but a chain of inter-related actions and events.
12. You should always consider the possible consequences of speaking or acting (and of not speaking or acting) before you do so.

What ideals do we need to teach in English class? Why are these standards important, and what should we teach beyond the skills?

What do you think?


Melissa B. said...

Manners! I have a whole herd of students without manners!!

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