Middle School teachers want to #make language arts great again

Shreya Vemula | Staff Writer

Donald Trump isn’t the only one who can make things great again.

#MakeLanguageArtsGreatAgain– it’s a hashtag meant to connect with students and invigorate interest in language arts with a humorous front. Started in November, seventh grade Language Arts teacher Joseph Carraher’s #MLAGA has given him a new way to connect with his students about the progress of Language Arts at the Mason Middle School.

Carraher said that it was the absence of endeavors and underwhelming scores for the Research Assessment that brought forth #MLAGA. He said he was frustrated with the lack of effort and hopes that #MLAGA will motivate students to turn in work of a higher quality.

“What was turned in I deemed to be less than adequate work,” Carraher said. “I had a 20 minute to 30 minute rant on what I believed needed to be done differently for you to live up to your potential in terms of Language Arts.”

Seventh grader Colin Campbell supports #MLAGA and said it became necessary due to the lack of effort on the students’ part, and that it will help students take more a genuine interest in Language Arts.

“It’s good that he’s promoting something to make Language Arts great again,” Campbell said. “Some kids don’t really like it and it makes kids want to do Language Arts.”

Carraher has started using news articles from CommonLit, Newsela, and the New York Times Upfront magazine to provide students with rigorous text and comprehension questions. He also added weekly editing worksheets to expand grammar and cognition skills. Seventh grade Language Arts teacher Eric Schatzle said that the weekly editing and readings have improved students’ grammar and ability to understand complex texts.

“He has seen some great things happen with that so I have started that process as well,” Schatzle said.

Carraher said that he tells students to pretend that their work will be seen by the entire world in order to motivate them to work hard.

“If you want to be viewed as sort of sloppy and don’t really put forth that much effort, then that’s how you’ll be perceived if you give me something like that,” Carraher said. “But if you want to be perceived as diligent, hardworking, and intrusively motivated, then you’re going to give me something worthy of that.”

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