Hello English teachers!


Welcome to the Building the English Classroom blog, a supplement to my book of the same title, published by NCTE.  The site is a place for reflections, discussions, and resources on topics related to all aspects of English teaching.  Please scroll down to read my posts, add a comment,  and contact me with suggestions.  I look forward to exchanging ideas.  To see a description of the book, read a sample chapter, or order a copy, click here. To read a review on the National Writing Project website, click here.

Bruce Penniman

3 thoughts on “Hello English teachers!

  1. Lori

    I want to thank you for your book. I learned about _Building_ the_English_Classroom_ from a recent issue of the NCTE Inbox newsletter. After reading a sample chapter online, I ordered it right away. I’m a pre-service teacher looking for ways to get organized prior to my anticipated start of student teaching this fall.

    I was wondering if you had any advice or could suggest additional resources directed at preparing for me for the somewhat unique situation student teaching in particular.

    Thanks again, I look forward to getting your book in the mail soon!

  2. Bruce Penniman Post author

    Hi Lori,

    Thanks for being the first to post a comment on my blog! You must be excited about your upcoming student teaching – and probably a little nervous, too. I sure was when I started 40 years ago this fall.

    When the book arrives, I’d especially recommend focusing on Chapter 1 at first. It’s about goal-setting and long-range planning. New teachers tend to struggle to develop authority in the classoom (I don’t mean rigid control, just the feeling of being in charge and trusted by the students). Therre’s no better way to do this than to feel confident in your plans – and this somes from having clear goals.

    We teachers tend to get excited about “cool activitiers to do with the kids,” and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the activities should always serve carefully constructed goals. I hope that the chapter will help you to think through that process. You may also want to consult Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s _Understanding_by_Design_, which I discuss in the book. It’s a great source though a bit overwhelming!

    Best of luck as you get ready for your student teaching venture. I hope you’ll post again to report on how it’s going!

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