Summer Sorting Papers

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Trees died this year, supporting the academic effort. Trees have been dying for a long time to help me out. As I sorted the papers yesterday, old and relatively new, I was struck by the fact that stricter curricula have not been kind to my students. My older original creations and copies from times when I got to choose at least some of my materials are simply better and more interesting than the materials that I have often been handed and told to use.

I kept copies of a lot of the old stuff, hoping to find a position where I could use them. I threw almost all the new stuff in the recycling.

It’s not that the new stuff is bad. But it’s not particularly good, either, and if I end up in another district where they are handing me my materials, they’ll give me more. I don’t need to fill files with mediocre assignments. Too often, the district happily provides that service free of charge.


Eduhonesty: I know my students. I can do a better job of selecting reading material for them than some faceless stranger in a board office. If my classroom has 19 boys and 11 girls, that matters. If my classroom has 23 Hispanic students and 7 African-American students, that matters too. I am in position to ask my students what they like and what they want to read. I should be picking the books.