Teaching without the reading: opinions on english CP without summer reading


Photo by Photo by Sasha Kek

Honors English l students work on an assignment based on their summer reading assignment. Evan Mrazek (freshman)- "I feel fine with [CP not having summer reading] because we need to be more prepared for the Honors level and CP might not take as much preparing for the class," Evan Mrazek, Honors English l student, said.

Summer reading, “helps people progress in the future,” Alyssa Snep, CP English ll student, said, but CP English students do not have a required summer read as of this year. 

“I was in Honors last year, so dropping down to CP [is] definitely different and a lot less work, but I feel like it’s too much less work,” Snep said. “Over the summer, it was weird not having to read a story. It was kind of nice because I didn’t have to worry about it as much, but I still think it would be a good idea for CP.”

Some teachers like Megan Bajor, CP English lll teacher, agree that summer reading is a good idea for English CP students to have. 

“I liked [the summer reading] because I thought it encouraged that rigor, just [making] sure that students are doing something in the summer,” Bajor said. “I actually had a pretty positive experience, [but] I’ve heard bad things about it. I know some classes had a hard time getting students to read.”

Particular teachers who struggled with students completing the reading included Kim Philipp, CP English ll teacher, who, “would always have a few students who either said they didn’t know about [the reading] or didn’t do it,” Philipp says. 

Without having the summer reading, students are, “all starting and moving together, and I think it’s much more fluid that way,” Philipp said, and has been beneficial for her students.

“I would say it’s been a better experience because there’s no students starting behind,” Philipp said. “I think it’s been worthwhile and I like that no student is feeling behind or overwhelmed at the start of the school year.”

Unlike CP level classes, Honors and AP students still have summer reading and understand both English levels are harder compared to the CP level.

“Honors is always going to be harder, and not necessarily do we have to be challenged, but we should be prepared for what’s to come,” Julia Goodrich, Honors English l student, said.

Students in the higher level English classes are also expected to know, “understanding the material is very important,” Philipp said, and summer reading is a big focus in the curriculum.

“I think the students who are in Honors know that we’ve set the bar extremely high for them and there’s a lot of things that they’re going to have to do on their own with the material,” Philipp said. “I think for the CP students, we assist them a little more, especially because we’re starting the unit and not focusing on summer reading.”