Question: How do students perceive themselves?
Answer/Quote: “ ‘The text most people rely on is numbers,’ says O’Connor. ‘I think of this as the ‘Scantron’ version of their lives: you are a B student, a 20 ACT score, etc. All that shorthand is really limiting. That misses almost everything we can know, and reduces us to stock characters in folktales. Students need to be aware that they can be the authors of their lives, that they can take control of that story.’ ” p. 14.
Comment: O’Connor makes a valid point. Letting ourselves be labeled limits what we are willing to try. But we are labeled in competitive sports and in classroom judgments by teachers. And by standardized tests. I am caught by the dilemma between understanding our limits and refusing to recognize our potential. I believe our potential is greater than we have been labeled. RayS.
Title: “ ‘Catching Tigers’: Bringing the Creative into Writing Instruction.” Deb Aronson. The council Chronicle (March 2012), 12-14. From an interview with Judith Rowe Michaels, author of the book Catching Tigers in Red Weather: Imaginative Writing and Student Choice in High School. NCTE, and John S. O’Connor author of This Time It’s Personal: Teaching Academic Writing through Creative Nonfiction, NCTE.