Beth's Reviews > Papers, Papers, Papers: An English Teacher's Survival Guide

Papers, Papers, Papers by Carol Jago
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Aug 22, 08

bookshelves: professional-books, writing-books, nonfiction
Recommended for: English teachers drowning in a torrent of papers
Read in August, 2008

If I could give half star ratings, I would give this book 2.5 stars. I actually found that a lot of the advice Jago gives in this book, I already do to help minimize the paper load (self-assessments, reflective essays, portfolios, etc.) so there wasn't a whole lot of new information this book presented.

I was not fond of Jago's tone and voice of this book. It was a tad bit inconsistent - one minute she's talking about handling the paper load, the next minute she's talking about what's wrong with public education. She also talks about how pinpointing all of your students' errors is a futile attempt, but the next minute she's talking about how she dons her red pen and marks students' errors.

What I DID like about this book is how Jago addresses what to do about students who don't read teacher comments, and also how to deal with students in a peer conference setting so that they actually get to work and don't goof off.
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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen You make some excellent points. I will add that, while she did give me some steps for reconsidering how I grade and give feedback, she actually (temporarily, I hope) increased the the amount of time I spend grading papers.

As you said, she does provide some food for thought for making sure that grades and feedback are actually valuable (and considered by students), and balances that out with suggestions for reducing paperwork elsewhere.

Ultimately, there is some good information in this book, and I believe that it has made me an exponentially better teacher, but you have to take the good with the bad. Perhaps the problem here is that there's a disconnect between what she want English teachers to aspire to, and what they can reasonably accomplish in the time given with the student load given. Both ends simply cannot be perfectly met with the same means.


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