Choice

slice of life

The spring Saturday reunion at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project can never come too early. We are always ready – as the school year is winding down – to be inspired and leave re-energized for the last few months of the year. Yesterday was no different.

We left with our own take-aways from individual workshops that we can’t wait to put into practice. But collectively, we left with the wisdom and guidance from the two keynote speakers – Ms. Patricia Polacco and Ms. Kylene Beers.

The heart of both of their messages was that students need CHOICE. And we – as teachers and literacy leaders – need to make sure they have it.

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As Ms. Beers stated, The best book a student will ever read is the one he chooses himself. And as Ms. Polacco said so passionately, “Teachers need to unite!”

We need to make our voices heard about what needs to happen in classrooms – and possibly more important – what shouldn’t be happening in classrooms.

We leave the spring reunion with renewed abandon to offer our students the power to choose books that are relevant to their lives. We leave with validation that the rich literature we share and discuss with our students is vital, yes vital, for their growth as empathetic, caring individuals.

So we will continue to search high and low for just the right book if it will make a difference for a student. And we’ll share only literature that is worthy of our students’ time, books that just might change their lives.

We hope you will too.

For all of today’s Slice of Life stories head to Two Writing Teachers.

~ Darla and Jen

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5 thoughts on “Choice

  1. I was able to catch much of the conversation from the event on Twitter – thank you for sharing! In recent years, I’ve renewed my commitment to honoring choice in my high school students’ reading experiences, including *gulp* eight straight days of class time committed to independent reading last week for what I ended up calling a “read-a-thon.” My 78 students read more than 140 books – that’s 140 books I’m sure would not have been read without being given the time and opportunity to find them for themselves. Thanks to teachers like you, I feel confident knowing that there are few learning opportunities that I offer my students that can have such an impact.

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  2. I feel that responsibility greatly (what should not happen in the classroom) and it weighs on me. It is often hard if not impossible if one wants to keep working… Administrators do have power. But I do try to make the right choices. Definitely leaving students the choice on what to read independently, which is what they mostly do in our fifth grade classes. Lots of choices about writing too. Assessments, however, are still too rigid and now with SBAC also not always useful.

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