My name is Dana Cole. I teach language arts at LaFayette High School in Georgia, just across the state line from Chattanooga, Tennessee. I have taught for nearly two decades in different settings, including distance learning courses, substitute teaching, ESL support, and a “typical” high school classroom.
Over the years, I have continued to rethink and revise my expectations about students – their attitudes, their abilities, and their work. Thinking, Fast and Slow and Choice Theory are two books that have significantly influenced my current policies. I want students to tackle challenges with which they may not be successful the first time through. As a result, I allow students to re-do work with which they are not satisfied, though on major assignments I require them to complete additional practice to make sure that they are better prepared.
One of my favorite books, Dunbar’s Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, presents the idea that language is an essential part of what makes us human. I think that’s part of it, but I think that in addition to allowing us to build relationships, language allows us to do something else that’s fundamentally human – it allows us to share stories.
I hope that sharing stories here allows me to build relationships with others – as teachers and as learners – who are also passionate about what we do.
Feel free to email me at danacole (at) walkerschools (dot) org.