Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The New York Times reports that the American Federation of Teachers has created a website for teachers to share curriculum materials: sharemylesson.com. In 2009 the Times reported on teachers who buy and sell lesson plans online. It’s sad to see the AFT (my union) getting involved in this sort of effort, even if no money changes hands.

The descriptions of Share My Lesson materials are often dispiriting. Here are three, my quick choices, cut and pasted from the site:

Analyzing Atmosphere in Romeo and Juliet
Analyzing Atmosphere in Romeo and Juliet. Analyzing atmosphere in Romeo and Juliet

Fact Sheet Elegy Tichbourne
Fact Sheet Elegy Tichbourne. This is a fact sheet on the background of the poem Elegy, it can be used in conjunction with the lesson Powerpoint that i have also uploaded.

Of mice and men Unit
Of mice and men Unit. Huge set of resources tracing theme, characterization, language, etc. Almost a complete unit.
I worry about the habits of mind that would lead a teacher to repeat a description three times, to make elementary mistakes in punctuation, to type i and let it stand, to capitalize unit while lower-casing the nouns in a novella’s title, to call something both a unit and “almost a complete unit.” Can we expect these teachers to take more care with the sheets and units themselves? Can we expect the maker of “Fact Sheet Elegy Tichbourne” to take more care when he or she evaluates student writing?

A student once told me that in her high-school English classes students and teachers alike used Cliffs Notes. Everyone pretended to be reading. How long before the kids catch on and get the jump on their lesson-sharing teachers? (All one needs to join sharemylesson.com is an e-mail address.) And how long before teachers catch on and realize that this sort of endeavor does little to further their cause with the American public?

Thanks, Stefan, for pointing me to this article (and to the 2009 article).

Related posts
Reinventing the wheel
Teacher, beware (on Terms and Conditions for Share My Lesson)

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