A coworker and I signed up to spend our early out District Professional Development days learning about teaching grammar in middle school. That session was full so we were booted out and placed in another learning cadre.
Our new focus: “Teaching Language through the Jolliffe Model: A Framework for Understanding Rhetoric.”
Now, keep in mind, today I had to clarify to my students that Edgar Allan Poe wrote about “morgues” not “mortgages” and that the narrator in “The Tell-Tale Heart” was glad when the heartbeat “ceased” not “creased.”
Whether it’s due to my pounding sinus headache, the total of 3 hours of sleep I’ve managed to get over the past 2 nights, or the fact that I’m a moron, I have no idea how my session today is going to improve the way I teach in my classroom.
While I listed to a presenter yammer on for 2 hours these are some of the words and phrases he threw out: exigence (which my computer does not recognize as a real word), Ethos, Pathos & Logos (all are means by which the audience can be swayed), phronesis (which I can clarify to my 8th graders by explaining that it’s a fancy term for “prudence in action.”)
He also talked for a bit about syllogism which combines a major premise with a minor premise to formulate a conclusion. However, even this way of thinking has flaws because we must remember, “When logic is corrupt, it typically start with the major premise.” True story.
I can’t wait until we get to enthymeme, which is basically syllogism without the aid of a major premise and often reveals “things which can be otherwise and are hotly debated and refutable and can readily be used for rhetorical analysis.”
I am also looking forward to discussing “Topics of Invention or Modes of Discourse which often dictate the arrangement of a composition.” It’s going to be Epic! The only thing better would be discussing “rhetorical movements” and how kairos relates to the Order of presentation.
Hold the phone! I just glanced ahead in our handouts and I found a slide on “Artful Repetitions in Syntax.” The slide covers parallel structure, Anaphora and Epistrophe, chiasmus and alliteration! (I know what alliteration is! One point for Miss Lewis)
Seriously, I don’t know how will I contain my excitement until our next meeting.