The Evolution from English Teacher to Cybrarian

The Evolution


English Teacher



What is the environment, the culture, in which we find ourselves?

Presented November 22, 1997
Detroit NCTE

The little red schoolhouse no longer exists.
What influences us now?

Government from feds on down is very much involved!
Standards, laws, money
Business is actively involved.
STW, influence
Media is ever more critical with more report cards on schools appearing every month.
Community is more involved.
Education has become the business of society!
But Mann told us this in 1849.

What are we now?

Education is a strange profession: we work alone.
One teacher, one class closed doors Change that!!!
Think of the other professions: medicine, law, sports, business, politics.
They are Teams.
We are being forced into this brave new world.
A teacher from 1890 could still function our schools.
A doctor from 1890 could not function in our hospitals.
The average age of an American teacher is 46.

We have to rethink how we function.

The past is fine, but don't get lost in it.
Low tech and proud should not be acceptable.
If we are preparing the future then we must think future.

Treat education like a business

Business plan
Systems thinking
Study facets of change
structure, human resources, politics and the symbols

So How Do We Become Cybrarians?

What is our new role?

Is your Board of Education behind it?
Is your superintendent behind it?
Is your principal behind it?
Are your parents behind it?
Where is your support?
Within the school:
Technology Plan and committee
Teacher training plan
time off, immersion, team teaching
Grant writing team.
Form a team and meet often. Share. Find your virtual community.
Establish expectations, methods of assessment, time frame.
Web server in school: Electronic Classroom not a lab.
Do you have a Chief Information Officer (CIO) or a techie in school

Now You are Ready!

Develop acceptable use policies: AUPs
Create a permission slip: treat the Internet like a field trip
Discuss and establish how students ID themselves
No picturess, No personal info
Do not meet with anyone outside of school
Instead invite them to school
Netiquette and issues of Ethics must be discussed.
Use for conflict resolution
Inter disciplinary, Multi-cultural, Constructivism
You are not alone, use the Virtual Community

What Does It Mean to be an English Teacher Today, Tomorrow?

To be an English Teacher we must now go beyond being just an English Teacher to be an English Teacher.
The foundation of Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking continue to rule.

The Internet provides for better efficiency.
Web pages for each student: publishing, larger audience, relevancy
Internet demands discriminatory thinking, everything is research:
Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
You have access to more literature then school can provide.
Students publish their essays and creative writing: empowerment, ownership
This echoes what Peter Elbow said this morning:
To help a young writer balance betwixt resistance and compliance I use the web page because it allows for both compliance and resistance.
The key for the English Teacher/Cybrarian is to minimize the environment so that the students can do their thing (resistance) and still satisfy my goal of writing (compliance).

1. High stakes low stakes = collaboration solo
2. Private writing = email
3. To share = web publishing
4. Publish hard copy to web
5. Grading contract = comments, peer review, mentors