One of the darkest times of a teacher’s life is the unit of…The Research Paper. Active debate exists over the value of a research paper at all for a generation of students who either aren’t going to college or who will be re-trained how to write when they do go to college.
So this year, I somehow convinced the other English teachers that we should try challenge based learning. It’s not been without its challenges (no pun intended) that always accompany teaching research, and I don’t know if it’s my giant pair of rose-colored glasses, but reading the research outlines hasn’t been as painful as it’s been in the past.
I attribute part of that to requiring the students to create a solution and reflect on what they learned. The research this year isn’t just a rehashing of what other people have said. They needed to engage with what they learned.
And the result? I’m reading some really interesting writing. I’m actually enjoying reading what my students are turning in. And that is something to be grateful for.