Right now, a quarter of the way through the school year, my students are scared. They enter my class and think that they can write, then get papers back from me that score so low on the AP rubric that they begin to wonder if they are the writers they thought they were after all. Some of them are so used to doing well, that they do not know how to respond when they don't get automatic As. These students have been passed along because they do their work and do not need the basic instruction of many of their peers, but they are unaware that they can grow too.
And grow they do. By the end of the year, my students have style. They can build arguments on strong logical foundations and appeal successfully to their audience's expectations and beliefs. Even better, by June, the kids can look at their work from the course of the year and chart their own progress. By June, these students know they can write.
The conference on Saturday gave me more tools to use with my students to help them exceed the goals that they are just learning to set. It helped me learn to set higher goals too, and guided me towards achieving them. With more workshops like these, more experience, and more reflective thought, I hope to become a teacher that can look back and chart her progress as she grew to be powerful AP teacher, as she grew to become a teacher who knew she could teach.
Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Rosemary
In the garden, the carrots have just sprung their lacy first "true-leaves" and the parsnips are finally beginning to emerge. (I tried a Pat Welsh experiment with them when I first planted both the carrots and the parsnips, but I think they would have done just as well had I planted them directly into loose soil and kept them consistently moist.) Like teeth, white and sharp, the garlic has pushed first leaves through the soil. In the markets, the first fall parsnips, plump and ivory, are beginning to arrive from farms in higher elevations, and local carrots are available year-round. This tasty side dish is a regular on my table, one that I look forward to making with carrots, garlic, and parsnips from my own garden. They'll get there.
Roasting the carrots and parsnips with rosemary highlights their natural sweetness and the citrus notes of the parsnip. Adding a necessary depth to the dish, garlic cloves melt into spreadable goodness. Before I roast the vegetable mixture, I add a teaspoon of caramelized honey to accentuate the browned flavors. (Caramelized honey is less sweet than regular honey, and if you are able to find it at your local green market or natural foods store, I recommend giving it a try. Its bittersweet floral flavor works well in both savory and sweet dishes.) However, if you cannot find caramelized honey, regular honey would be just as nice in the dish, or you could omit the honey altogether, as the vegetables are already nicely sweet.
Serves 2-3 as a sizable side dish.
You will need:
2-3 large parsnips, washed well and peeled
4-5 carrots, washed well and peeled
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, washed and roughly chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled, but left whole
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
To roast the veggies:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chop the carrots across the widths into 1" chunks. If your parsnips are as large as mine were, you'll need to quarter them, then cut those quarters into 1" long chunks. Try to get the veggie pieces approximately the same size.
Toss all the veggies, garlic, and herbs into a 9x12 roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil and honey over all and salt liberally then use your hands to mix the ingredients in the roasting pan, so that each vegetable chunk gets a slick of oil, salt, honey, and rosemary. Spread the veggies around into as close to a single layer as you can get them.