Title

The Success of Enabling Texts and Conversational Communities at Tapp Middle School

Location

Savannah

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Provides a comprehensive approach utilizing “Enabling Texts” to inspire middle-through-high school students for taking ownership of their attitudes and behaviors toward learning. A component of the “conversational community model” where enabling texts are used to expand student/family conversations regarding goal-setting, student ownership of learning outcomes, course taking, leadership development, community service, college preparation, peer pressures, bullying, and those student attitudes and behaviors that are inconsistent with student/family aspirations. Inspires teachers to become vested in student success, provides a framework for engaging parents, inspires students who are low performing and traditionally most at risk to set goals and accept ownership of their attitudes and behaviors toward learning, while increasing literacy.

Brief Program Description

Tapp Middle School engaged students in a school-wide reading of the enabling text, “Follow Your Dreams: Lessons That I Learned in School” (Wynn, 2000) as part of a comprehensive approach to inspiring students, engaging parents, forging community partnerships, and encouraging teachers to become vested in student outcomes.

Summary

Tapp Middle School in Cobb County Georgia has successfully engaged students in a school-wide reading of “Follow Your Dreams: Lessons That I Learned in School” (Wynn, 2000) as part of a long-term strategy to transform school culture, inspire intrinsically motivated and self-monitoring students, frame parent-teacher discussions around students’ goals and aspirations, and provide a catalyst to guide the conversations regarding intervention strategies for the students who are most at risk as a result of discipline infractions and missed instructional days. The professional capacity of teachers and counselors who are working with students in small groups is being developed, stronger relationships are being developed between home and school, teachers and students, teachers and parents, and students and families as students engage in a whole-school reading of a different enabling text at each grade level.

Evidence

Alfred Tatum’s research indicates that the lack of available and accessible “Enabling Texts” results in the lack of intrinsic motivation to read for high risk student populations. Such students require access to texts that: enables students to “Define Self;” inspire “Resiliency;” inspire students to “Engage Others;” and “Builds Capacity.” Such texts, and the resulting self-reflection and student conversations are critical to inspiring student ownership of learning, taking advantage of college readiness and support programs, and maximizing the support and enrichment opportunities available with students’ school system. Students at Tapp Middle School actively engaged in the process of setting goals, demonstrated self-directed behaviors, reduced their discipline infractions, and increased their academic performance across a broad range of indicators.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

CEO of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity; Ministry Leader for the Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry; member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling; 30 years of k-12 teaching experience in k-12 and juvenile court schools; consultant and parent; author of 27 books on school improvement, student achievement, parenting, college planning, scholarships and financial aid, Black male achievement, and classroom instructional strategies; conducts staff development, parenting workshops, and student presentations to schools and school districts throughout the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. Annually assists students in gaining admissions to top colleges and earning millions of dollars in scholarships and financial aid.

Keyword Descriptors

enabling texts, student achievement, intrinsic motivation, inspiration

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2015 9:45 AM

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Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

The Success of Enabling Texts and Conversational Communities at Tapp Middle School

Savannah

Tapp Middle School engaged students in a school-wide reading of the enabling text, “Follow Your Dreams: Lessons That I Learned in School” (Wynn, 2000) as part of a comprehensive approach to inspiring students, engaging parents, forging community partnerships, and encouraging teachers to become vested in student outcomes.