Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reading List, One Last Time

So this morning I had my meeting with the G&T coordinator for middle school. Really, really nice woman - I could easily see us becoming good friends. I arrived in her office at 7:45 AM and the very first thing she does is offer me chocolate. How can you not love the woman?

We chit-chatted about a lot of things - the weather (being good Minnesotans, don't-cha-know), how my boys are doing, the holidays, etc ... but eventually meandered to the topic at hand. She told me that the English teacher had OK'ed this list with the G&T department - at which point I interrupted her with an incredulous "REALLY? And you are OK with this list?!?" And she kind of stammered, and said, well, um ... and drifted off as I started off on how inappropriate I think it is. Oh, you guys would have been so proud of me! I remembered (without notes!) the powerful language of Carla and the empassioned opinions of Dawn, Shawn, Calandria and Larue. I spoke forcefully but calmly, passionately but evenly (usually when I get riled up I cry. Not a pretty site, and kind of weakens the message.) And she wrote down most of what I said!

After covering why this list was so wrong - starting with the old "since when is Entertainment Weekly the resource educators want to rely on?" and listing several books with inappropriate themes, I said something along the lines of "There are so many lists out there to choose from. There are gifted reader lists, college prep lists, librarian-created lists, award-winning book lists. It should be easy to find a good list to use. And if YOU can't find one, I can certainly find one for you."

Whoops. Got a little carried away there. No educator worth her salt is going to pass up THAT offer.

So yes, I am now on the hook to come up with an exceptional reading list for the 8th graders, to replace the EW one (and it's not "we'll consider switching lists" -- it's "We will switch lists" Yay!). But honestly, I know it's not going to be that hard. Besides, I have all you to help me!

5 comments:

Mama Ava said...

Suddenly and inexplicably, online traffic to Karen's blog dropped and silence lay like a blanket over the land...

Mama Ava said...

Oh, yeah, HOORAY FOR YOU! For the assertive and the not crying and the not being overly seduced by the chocolate!

Calandria said...

Karen, I am SO pround of you! Wow!

Now here's what I want you to do: Go in and tell my son's teacher why it was NOT ok to kick him out of the top math group based on one so-so test and a few missing homeworks.

About the list. Hmm. I'll see if I can find something better than the links I already sent...

shawn said...

I am SO proud of you too.. I am like you.. when I get emoitional about something.. I cry too. (more of WHY CAN'T YOU SEE MY WAY)... I still read the list as the EWWWW list of books..
You should be able to come up with a list without a problem.. I mean really with your knowledge and reading skills...
NOW.. let's hope she wasn't blowing smoke and will actually look at your list and use it!!

Larue said...

I am going to poll everyone at my birthday party and get their ideas. I am also going to poll my own personal 8th grader and see what she and her friends recommend.

Good for you! Are you free for my next IEP meeting?

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