Power Writing Students as Teachers

An important part of the work in Power Writing is the Cognitive Apprenticeship phase where the worldview of both students and teachers is constantly challenged through dialogue and inquiry. The process of examining the material conditions of our lives and the society in which we live gives viability and credibility to the process of the acquisition of literacy.

You will rarely hear our students question the importance of becoming fully literate. The examination of the variety of English dialects spoken within the group and the body of ideas, values and feelings conveyed in these respective codes allows our students to become, often with great effort, code shifters. Fluency in “standard English” is but one of our goals. The manner of teaching and learning is both collaborative and collective which allows curriculum to evolve from the material conditions of the pupils’ lives and the linguistic and ideational interaction of teachers and students.

A significant goal in Power Writing is to have our pupils become co-teachers. This should be seen as an organic process of our praxis. Our pupils have learned how to learn. Given the opportunity to share the process through which their own mastery has been achieved further deepens each student teachers’ understanding of literacy acquisition and models for successive cohorts both technical proficiency and its emotional and behavioral rewards. As pupils engage in the Read and Feed regimen of clarification, critique and refinement they are learning, not only invaluable truths about their own learning process, but also the process of others. The responsibility of having to teach the methodology of Power Writing should also further challenge and encourage our students to improve their newly acquired skills.

Karina Sanchez on teaching a College Now class at John Jay HS
Just looking into their eyes when i walk up to the class room door is a rush every week. the joy, yet desperation their words carry, is at times overwhelming. every one has a story to tell and oh, how they speak about it. in the short period of time that i have worked with these young people i have made them more disciplined, focused and out spoken about issues they will face in the future. i have given them a way to vent frustration without hurting. every person in this class will overcome the struggles of what is known as life just with another tool to help along them way. the motto of our class is ” IF U DON’ LEARN TO WRITE YOUR OWN LIFE STORY, SOMEONE ELSE IS GONNA WRITE IT FOR U” and u might not like it. with these young adults I’m just now realizing how real this is and how they can write it themselves and love reading it back and poeting their way into a better future.