But I Don’t Teach English
Posted by AVID Center on 9/25/2018
By Kayla Burrow, AVID Center
The fluorescent lights flickered overhead. We crowded around tables in the school library—clicking our pens, checking our phones, laughing and whispering about the day’s events—as we waited for the monthly staff meeting to start. The focus for today would be on reading and writing across the curriculum.
You could see the math and science teachers tense up as the discussion went on. Their eyes narrowed, and brows furrowed. That feeling of, “here’s one more thing” swept the room. Teachers know that feeling all too well. Our administrators were positive, supportive, and caring, but that was not enough. As I walked out of the room I overhead another teacher sigh, “But I don’t teach English.” I did teach English (and AVID), but I still understood their concerns.
The call from our district to incorporate reading and writing across the curriculum was daunting to many, and understandably so. But it was also a step in the right direction. Students need relevant reading material in all their subjects. They must also practice thinking and writing in ways that they may not find in English class.
My colleagues and I needed help—something that didn’t take too much time away from our already overcrowded schedules. Enter AVID Weekly, a resource that helps educators find and teach content that is meaningful to their students and their subject.
Every month, new articles with accompanying lessons and strategies are provided to AVID schools that subscribe*, and everyone at the school site can have access. Critical reading strategies are embedded into each lesson. There are also images and videos provided, so students learn how to think critically about what they read and watch.
The timeliness and relevance are what help AVID Weekly stand out. Students are happy because the articles and media are of high interest. AVID Weekly also helps show students that the subjects they are learning about in school matter in the real world.
Every article, image, and video shared through AVID Weekly is labeled by difficulty level, content area, and the critical reading strategies that will work best when teaching. There are sample lessons provided as well. Select lessons include embedded scaffolds for students who are English Language Learners (ELLs).
When I look back on my time in the classroom, I remember that desire to do more, but the maddening lack of resources, time, and energy. That’s why I like AVID Weekly. It’s a resource that’s helpful but not prescriptive. It saves teachers the added work of finding timely, relevant media and creating lessons from scratch. AVID Weekly also gives the folks who aren’t English teachers the information they need to feel competent teaching reading skills and facilitating written responses.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Learn more about AVID Weekly and be sure to check out some of the content shared in AVID Weekly this month!
Sample Articles & Lessons from AVID Weekly
- Climate change is turning sea turtle eggs female. What about alligators?
- Instagram, Snapchat, Fortnite: The distractions are endless. Here’s how to help kids cope.
- The following two articles can be used to answer the question, "Is video game addiction a real condition?"
*AVID Elementary educators automatically receive access to AVID Elementary Weekly through their MyAVID accounts. AVID Secondary educators who belong to a campus with an AVID Weekly subscription also have automatic access to AVID Weekly MyAVID. AVID Secondary subscriptions to AVID Weekly are an available for free during the first year of membership and for an additional cost (opt-out) thereafter.
Kayla Burrow is the Marketing Communications Specialist for AVID Center. She was a first-generation college student and graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in English and Secondary Education. Kayla has worked in education in many roles, including AVID tutor, English teacher, and AVID Elective teacher and coordinator. She loves her work at AVID Center because it allows her to provide support to educators across the nation.