As part of its 2013 The Big Read, the Pioneer Library System is looking for high school teachers to go old school in their classrooms by teaching the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff. Participating teachers will receive copies of the novel to check out to their students, a two-week lesson plan prepared by the National Endowment for the Arts, support materials and access to online resources, and advice and mentoring from one of Oklahoma’s most respected educators.
The teachers and their students will also have the opportunity to meet the author of Old School, Tobias Wolff, when the Pioneer Library System brings him to Shawnee, Norman, and Moore in April 2013.
“Old School is a great choice for high school students because it has teen characters, is set in a private boy’s school in the early 1960s, and it is full of references to popular authors of the day such as Robert Frost, Ayn Rand, and Ernest Hemingway,” says Gary Kramer, Public Information Officer for the Pioneer Library System. “The conflicts in the novel deal with issues of honesty, self-identity, competition, peer pressure, and responsibility. These are great topics for discussion with teens.
“This novel could be easily and effectively substituted for The Catcher in the Rye or Lord of the Flies, and would be a nice component of any class that teaches the novel, American Literature, or creative writing” Kramer adds.
Dr. Betsy Ballard will serve as a teacher resource and mentor for the educators who will be teaching the novel. Ballard taught English, debate and competitive acting before she retired in May after 36 years at Norman High School.
This fall, Dr. Ballard will conduct an in-service workshop for participating teachers. The session will introduce the lessons prepared by the National Endowment for the Arts and Ballard will discuss ways to customize the instruction to meet the specific needs and goals of each classroom and teacher.
The teacher workshops will be scheduled at times and locations appropriate and convenient for the participating teachers. Documentation for CEUs will be provided.
Any public, private, or homeschool educator working in Cleveland, McClain, or Pottawatomie County is eligible to participate in the 2013 The Big Read. Applications are available at public libraries in Blanchard, McLoud, Moore, Newcastle, Noble, Norman, Purcell, Shawnee, Southwest Oklahoma City, and Tecumseh. A PDF version of the application is also available for download.