Write Out Loud!

Thoughts on ELA

If I were to express my raw thoughts on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which I have formed after reading “Thoughts after reading Ellen Carillo”, I would say that the standards itself is not bad in theory. Making sure that no one is missing out on things that people should know for their next and future courses helps to keep things chugging along smoothly. However, if you follow it to a T, you would end up with a pretty dry classroom without the chance to truly engage your consciousness. You never “upload” anything, only “download”. No one asked about your thoughts. They only want to know if you know what the author is thinking.

Well, the answer is usually right there if you have enough reading comprehension to absorb the author’s thoughts and not get caught up in your own assumptions. And then you just, spit it back out (in your own words of course). But in the end, I think that I’m just paraphrasing. And you can really feel that after completing the pure crystallization of everything common core, the Regents.

When I write for the Regents, I spend most of my time not writing what I think but actually writing what I think they want me to write. At least they are very transparent on what they want (the CCSS is a set of standards after all) but I’ve always felt that I’m missing the point of these courses. Even though we learn different materials every year, it seems that they are trying to make us think automatously with the whole critical thinking thing. But with the clear and strict standards, I could just fill in the blanks and have 1 evidence per body paragraph with a topic sentence and explanation and make a passable essay. I didn’t have to think about anything beyond what is stated in the passage so I never really learned to or wanted to spend the extra time having my own opinions on the material. I really didn’t care about it.

Unfortunately, even though it is not emphasized, there are many times when I have to understand things enough to discuss it. Like speeches and such where I have to relay my own thoughts and interlace them with facts and logic. But I’m too used to things being separate to actually connect my opinions to the facts. So I just state what the facts are instead of actually explaining it since I can never find a way to express understanding without being too personal or accidentally disconnecting myself from the facts and logic.

The difference between knowing and understanding is the thing that differs a person who likes to read fun facts from an professional. When you understand something, you are able to apply the knowledge and expand on it. When you just know something, you are really only able to replicate it.

I don’t really talk to many people so I don’t have too much experiences with other Englishes or what other people think of them. But I think that I do know and use various Englishes in my day to day life. My mom knows a decent amount of English and is grammatically correct most of the time but it can still be described as broken. It works but it can’t be described as professional and people do think that you are less intelligent and reasonable if you speak that way. So there are many times when I have to write the letter that is supposed to be from my parents or edit one so that it could sound more professional.

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    You have some great comments about education in here. Why not use that as your Education Narrative? Really dig into the ideas you’re talking about and go further — how does all of this impact society? I’m sure you’ll have something provocative to say, and that’s terrific!

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