I love this approach.

I taught HS English, from remedial reading up to juniors, and most of my students were reluctant readers. Finding a text they enjoyed was difficult, but I had my best success when I approached texts from an angle they didn’t expect. For example, one semester’s sophomore world lit class centered around the theme of pride. Everything we read — including Dante’s Inferno for poetry, Machiavelli’s The Prince for nonfiction, and Moliere’s Misanthrope for drama — tied back to that, because it was something the kids could identify with, even if they were unfamiliar with the settings. It allowed them to take connections with the text based on their experiences, which doesn’t happen enough in education.

I also found it was important to validate students’ dislike of texts, as well as share my own dislike. But rather than allowing them to say they didn’t like something, they had to explain why. Giving students a voice in their education was very important, even when we had no choice in what we read.

Writer with a knack for finding new jobs in new places. Read more of her works at http://www.edmartinwriter.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store