I still haven't ordered the book so I was only able to read the first two chapters. That said, there is plenty to discuss based on those two chapters alone. Delpit exposed me to ideas that I had never though of before which was quite refreshing. Working for High Tech, I almost feel that addressing conventions in writing have been shamed out of me, or at least I have learned to be less vocal when saying that they matter in writing. Yet, Delpit provides evidence that indicates, conventions and basic skills are necessary to students of color, or any students who have been excluded from the dominant culture or code of education. To merely focus on process can and does often evade skill deficiency that is present in certain students, regardless of race. At the same time, as an 11th grade teacher it is challenging to reserve precious class time to cover conventions that should have been learned at an earlier age. So what is a teacher to do? I suppose office hours is one option, or brief tutorials...I'm still sorting this one out for myself.
Another notion that was revolutionary for me was the way in which students receive different directives from teachers, and how phrasing can be confusing if the upbringing of a child included a different code of language. I loved the way that the Alaskan teacher had her students celebrate the nuances of their heritage English, while also understanding the purpose for knowing how to navigate formal English. Often times, I have seen it framed, or even framed it myself, as a right or wrong way to write or speak. In reality it is a cultural preference. I can't wait to get the book so that I can continue to be challenged!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.