Poetry in America For Teachers is a series of courses designed specifically for secondary school educators interested in developing their expertise as readers and teachers of literature. In this series of courses, offered for professional development, undergraduate credit, or graduate credit, we will consider those American poets whose themes, forms, and voices have given expression to visions of urban life, the natural world, and the arts.
Deep study of the poems and poets on our syllabus will provide teachers the opportunity to develop their expertise as classroom educators. As teachers develop and practice advanced strategies for studying American poetry themselves, they also will gain rich new resources for the classroom. These courses will introduce content and techniques intended to help educators teach their students how to read texts of increasing complexity. The courses will meet relevant educational standards for grades 6-12, including the Common Core State Standards.
Poetry in America for Teachers features a combination of video tutorials and conversations, archival images and texts, expeditions to historic literary sites, sample classroom visits, and practical exercises designed to support skills development. In this course you will:
- Learn and practice the course’s four approaches to reading a poem, which also can be applied to reading literary texts more broadly. Laying the foundation with Professor New’s video tutorials, the course encourages skills practice through a customized poetry annotation tool that enables you to create and share your own close readings. You will also have the opportunity to apply these skills through a final lesson planning and delivery project.
- Develop the art of literary conversation and grow as a facilitator of classroom discussion. Literary texts allow us to explore language and build critical thinking skills together, discussing and debating what we have read as a community of educators. Through video footage, you will observe facilitated poetry discussions featuring a wide range of participants – students, teachers, poets, musicians, actors, athletes, and others. You will also engage in conversation with your peers and course instructors through online discussion forums, where you will have the opportunity to apply the skills demonstrated in the course.
- Experience the power of place through video excursions to the actual sites where our poets lived and wrote. Together we will read Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” while riding across the East River, consider Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Each and All” from the banks of the Concord River, and compare Carl Sandburg’s Chicago of 1914 with Gwendolyn Brooks’ Chicago of the 1950s.
WHO SHOULD ENROLL?
- Teachers and other educators working with secondary school students (grades 6-12) in English, Language Arts, Humanities, History, and/or American Studies
- Teachers and other educators working with a focus on adult or lifelong learners
- Principals, administrators, curriculum developers, and others who support teachers in the grade levels and subject areas above
The course is appropriate for educators at all stages of their teaching careers. No specialized scholarly knowledge of American poetry is required.
Course participants are encouraged to enroll with fellow educators from their schools.
Poetry in America for Teachers will be offered for the Spring 2018 semester. Please check back in November for registration.