Welcome to Ethical ELA!

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Ethical ELA is all about the ethics of teaching with a sharp focus on questions and experiences that create meaningful conversations about teaching and learning in English Language Arts classrooms.

Have you ever wondered about common teaching practices:  Is all this testing the best use of classroom time? Are those red marks on my child’s essay necessary? Why are students reading this book over that book?  What do grades mean?  What is a “good” reader or a “good” writer?  What is worth doing, knowing, and experiencing in ELA classrooms?

This site is a place for teachers, parents, and students to talk about any and all issues and experiences related to teaching and ELA that question practices and will bring schools closer to how they “ought” to be.

“Ought” is a rather complicated term as is “right” and “good.” I do not claim to have answers, but I do have many questions about what “good” readers do and are and what “good” writing is and looks like and what “good” teaching “ought” to be. (Sorry for all the air quotes.)

Brainstorm of Topics
Brainstorm of Topics

The “I” here is me, Sarah J. Donovan, Ph.D. I am a junior high ELA teacher in Illinois.  I have been teaching since 2002.  I earned an M.Ed. in Secondary English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then a PhD in English focusing on genocide literature and ethical pedagogy. I am also an adjunct professor at DePaul University where I teach graduate courses in adolescent development and teaching in diverse classrooms.

If you are new to Ethical ELA, we recommend starting with these posts: 

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