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PAWLP Fellows share their wisdom and joy for life and teaching through their writing and photography.

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  • 210 East Rosedale The Literary and Education Journal of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project

    Winter/Spring 2013 -Volume 2, Issue 1

  • 210 East Rosedale Winter/Spring 2013 Volume 2, Issue 1

    Contributors

    Classroom Memoirs

    The Art of a Science..1 by William Bell Power to the Teachers..4 by Tony Rotondo

    Words of Thanks.6 by Linda Milanese Kerschner You Cant Judge a Book by its Cover but Sometimes YOU CAN9 by Linda Walker Why I Teach Faulkner to Seventh Graders..11 by Kathleen S. Hall Scanlon

    Personal Memoirs Frozen Seconds14 by Donna Searle McLay The Influence of a Good Man.....16 by Brian Kelley Womans Best Friend..20 by Deanna Brown

    Poetry After the Fifth Elegy*..30 by Don LaBranche After the Ninth Elegy by Don LaBranche..32 Ode to the Young Readers and Writers Programs34 by Eileen Hutchinson Remembering Nancy Drew..36 by Janice Ewing

    Cover photograph by Patty Koller

    Photograph by Meg Griffin

    Photograph by Meg Griffin

    Photograph by Meg Griffin

    http://sophie-ruminations.blogspot.com/2012/12/frozen-seconds_26.html
  • IF For Student Teachers 37 by Cecelia G. Evans Tribute to Cooperating Teachers .38 by Cecelia G. Evans When Turtles Whisper ..39 by Cecelia G. Evans The Things They Carried ..40 by Richard Mitchell

    Songs

    A Song for the Children of Sandy Hook

    by Patricia Bove..41

    Book Reviews

    Winged Adventures ..42 by Linda Walker

    Photography

    Meg Griffin

    Patty Koller

    210 Rosedale Literary Journal

    The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project

    A National Writing Project Site since 1980

    Director: Dr. Mary Buckelew

    Production Editor: Meg Griffin

    Assistant Production Editors: Andria Kaskey and Sally Malarney

    PAWLP Staff: Ann Mascherino, Toni Kershaw and Sally Malarney

    www.pawlp.org

    Photograph by Patty Koller

    Photograph by Meg Griffin

  • From the Director

    Dear PAWLP Fellows & Friends,

    Welcome to the powerful pages of the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Projects second e-

    journal, 210 East Rosedale. Designed, written, and published by PAWLP Fellows, the e-journal

    is a place for all PAWLP Fellows to share their writing, thinking, and visual artwork.

    In this issue, you will find a variety of wonderful pieces all of which resonate with the strong

    voices of PAWLP Fellows. Whether writing songs for the children of Sandy Hook or sharing

    observations about their lives as educators, the voices of all contributors are powerful and

    provocative. Linda Walkers book reviews are not just reviews she engages the reader with her

    asides and the stories that swirl around her book choices. Linda Kerschner, Bill Bell, and Tony

    Rotondos pieces serve as important reminders for all of us as we navigate the educational

    landscape and life in general. Kathleen Hall Scanlons photography and classroom memoir

    remind us of the power of literature to change lives. Whether a call to action or musings on

    classroom and family memories there is something for everyone in this volume.

    Special thanks go out to Meg Griffin whose editing artistry and photographs -- along with Patty

    Kollers photographs elevate this issue to a work of art. While our highest priority is the written

    word, you will notice that aesthetics play an integral role in the e-journal and all PAWLP

    endeavors.

    From philosophical musings on life to pragmatic teaching tips PAWLP Fellows are invited to

    submit their work for consideration in 210 East Rosedale. Change the world or change a life

    with your words and art.

    Sincerely, Mary Buckelew

  • The Art of a Science William Bell

    Whether you know anything about teaching or not, when you walk into the room of a

    great teacher, you are aware of it. There is a sense of anticipation, there is a creative buzz, and

    there is an overall impression of student excitement.

    Teaching is a bit like coaching in sports; when the team is losing, it must be the coachs

    fault. Of course, that might simplify things a little too much. While coaching a successful sports

    team involves a myriad of differing and competing imperatives, teaching successfully involves

    infinitely more.

    Teaching involves the fragile and ever-evolving psyche of children. It involves the

    matching of styles with a room full of divergent minds. It involves a delicate balance of being a

    tough disciplinarian and a caring mentor. You need the listening skills of an experienced

    counselor and the mental toughness of a Marine drill sergeant. Your task is far more than to

    teach a specific skill; you must also nurture, cajole, excite, and motivate. You must have slick

    skills to deal with parental, administrative and personal expectations. You must entertain and

    engage, all while simultaneously imparting complicated skills. You need to do all that with

    charm and good will, even if you dont get them in return.

    Today in educational circles, everything you hear is about teaching to a program.

    Teachers are encouraged to use specific methodsand even scriptsin their daily lessons.

    Some districts call it teaching with fidelity. Gone are the days when teachers could use a time-

    honored lesson or a tried and true activity to teach a difficult skill or topic. Modern educational

    science has shown us the way to teach a course. Elliot Eisner, professor emeritus of Art and

    Education at Stanford University, writes about the arts and artistry aspect of teaching. Eisner

    1

  • contends that cognitive practices utilized in the arts have a place in the planning and

    implementation of educational curricula across the country. We cannot look to science to

    guarantee effective teaching. He writes, Not everything measureable is important and not

    everything important is measureable.

    There is a very real movement underway to make teaching itself into a science. Its

    almost as if teaching could be reduced to a recipe that, followed closely enough, will result in an

    educated product. The very things that you probably remember about that special or gifted

    teacher you may have had, the methods that made them stand out in your memory, are no longer

    encouraged and in some cases, disallowed.

    The classroom is no longer a place for creativity, experimentation, or innovation.

    Methods are tested in university studies and implemented with new curriculum. In striving to

    make all teachers competent, we make fewer exceptional.

    This is likely the answer to some mediocre teaching (and there is and always has been

    mediocre teaching). In some cases it substitutes for real and authentic teacher training, which

    everyone talks about but few school districts do very well. It also is an attempt to increase

    standardized tests scores, the Dow Jones average of educational barometers.

    What do we lose when we reduce the subtle art of teaching to a step-by-step process? We

    lose the heart of learning, we lose the serendipity of discovery, and we lose the chance to create a

    spark in young minds. But if we follow the script and are faithful to the program, we

    undoubtedly will produce a very uninspiring result. This would be a far cry from the motivation

    that drove most young college students to seek a career in the classroom. The beautifully noble

    idea of creatively forming young minds is much harder to find in modern education. In the

    2

  • future, will todays students look back on their time in school as the seed of a lifetime of

    discovery and creativity? As Isadora Duncan said, I do not teach children, I give them joy.

    Bill Bell is in his 17th

    year of teaching in the Upper Darby School District. He has taught in Middle School and Elementary School. He

    gets the most satisfaction out of teaching writing to young people. He has been a PAWLP Fellow since Summer 2008. He blogs about

    education and life at Platos Locker (http://platoslocker.wordpress.com/). He lives with his wife and sons in Delaware County. wjbell222@yahoo.com

    Photograph by Patty Koller

    3

    http://platoslocker.wordpress.com/mailto:wjbell222@yahoo.com
  • Power to the Teachers Tony Rotondo

    Im going to be a teacher until I drop dead. I thought after 40 years that I had had enough,

    but it turns out I just needed a two or three week break after retirement. Thats about when I was

    offered a job as Field Supervisor of student teachers. How hard could it be? You go to a school,

    sit in the back, and watch a kid teach. If principals could do it once a year, surely I could do it

    once a week.

    Heres what you find outnothing much changes. Sure the white boards are now Smart

    and the announcements are now on closed-circuit TV. But pretty much everything else is the

    same way you left it. Still those annoying interruptions from the office over the intercom or

    phone always coming when you are breathing heavy as you reach your lessons climax. And its

    always important shit, earth-shattering shit: Johnnys mom has dropped off his lunch or his jock

    strap. Please tell him to pick it up in the main office. You could tell the secretary not to disturb

    you when class is in session, but that would be inviting professional suicide. Thats what

    happens whenever you tell a secretary anything. You may as well fall on your sharpened

    Ticonderoga