Sharpening Neero

Continued the serious revision of the neero paper. Basically doing syntax, verb agreement, gum stuff. I’m still wondering how much of what I’m writing qualifies as spn. There are extended paragraphs that are personal, but not necessarily narrative. MKy biggest question at this point is Am I Telling A Story. In some ways, what I’m doing feels like what Pat showed us during the spn class.

Here’s a transitional paragraph I wrote today I really like:

“This is hard work for them, and its hard work for me. It isn’t easy moving against the grain of instruction that predominates in most of their classrooms. I have to keep their interest and they have to trust me that things are going to work out. I have to recognize that I’m not the most important force in their lives and that our classroom work may be way out of phase for what they are being asked to do in their classrooms from week to week. On the other hand, I work with them on things from week to week on interventions that will help them be better manipulators of the group process in their classrooms:

running effective classroom meetings,

playing fun games that also teach collaborative norms,

sharing words of encouragement (vs. praise) that they’ve given their kids,

discussing how they’ve encouraged their kids with each other over email during the week between classes,

adjusting required curricular tasks to take advantage of kids’ multiple abilities,

working towards from success, not failure,

teaching and building collaborative skills,

playing broken squares and other games that show the need for group process,

teaching them how to point out to all the children in a room the special abilities of one child in a room,

and doing thatmin a way that causes the other kids to want to work with the one child.

Every class, for at least some of the class period, we do a lot together that continues to put before them ways to better equalize the status differences that occur naturally among children. Our goal is to figure out how to enhance the academic work that results when kids can more successfully talk and work together about content of academic import.”

I think what I’ll do now that this paper is written is image the narrative arc of the paper. That may help me identify the narrative, focus on spaces in the narrative, and give me insight into where I can edit more story into the text if needed. The paper is really the story of one semester’s course, grounded in my need to affect schoolchildren’s learning.

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Charles Rathbone

Retired. Emeritus. UDL consultant, FIrst UU Racial Justice Committee, photographer, married, four children, five grandchildren. Embracing life, all of it. "Today is tomorrow's past."

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