In recent years, schools and communities across America have experienced crises with increasing frequency. These events take a variety of forms, ranging from tragedies within the school to occurrences outside of the classroom that directly affect the school community. While schools have historically responded to all manner of tragedies, the growing complexity and severity of contemporary crises raise a unique set of issues for instructors to confront. Besides the most evident recent tragedy concerning the terrorist attacks on the World Trade towers, communities are facing student violence, school shootings, teacher and student suicides, accidental deaths, discrimination or violence against targeted groups, and many other localized issues. All teachers share a responsibility for helping students come to terms with and sometimes act on these events, but teachers involved with a “writing classroom” of any kind have a unique stance from which to engage students in critical thought and discussion of the crises. What are some of the ways an instructor can use the writing classroom to promote constructive thought, discussion, and awareness of the issues surrounding a crisis? What are some of the considerations an instructor must explore before delving into these activities—personal feelings, student sensitivities, and community or school views?
Who May Submit:
All writing teachers with experiences responding to crisis in the classroom, whether positive or negative. Raising sensitive or volatile issues in the classroom is a tricky business, and learning from others’ trial and error experiences is an effective way to develop a strong approach. Contributors are not limited to Composition or Literature instructors; anyone who teaches a class with a writing emphasis is encouraged to submit.
Please identify your submission with keyword: WRITING