At the International Literacy Association annual conference this past weekend, author, veteran teacher, staff developer, nationally known consultant Cris Tovani was awrded the Adolescent Literacy Thought Leader Award. Cris is the author of IRead It But I Don’t Get It,Do I Really Have to Teach Reading? So, What do They Really Know? and most recently is coauthor of No More Telling as Teaching. Since the announcement, many educators, authors, and friends have taken to Twitter to express their excitement and congratulations to Cris:
Please join us in sending Cris our warmest congratulations!
Not talking about racism is not a solution. How do we have this conversation and how do we unravel assumptions about racism? Even if you don’t have the expertise we can create safe space for the conversation. How do we get started and move forward? How can these talks bring us together?
The Heinemann Fellows recently hosted a panel about racism in education facilitated by Heinemann authors Sara Ahmed, Sonja Cherry-Paul and Cornelius Minor. After the panel we sat down, alongside Heinemann General Manager Vicki Boyd, to talk about what racism looks like and how do we breakup the assumptions we make about racism.
Jennifer Serravallo'sThe Writing Strategies Book offers help for all steps in the writing process, and while it is intended for grades K–8, we find ourselves turning to it regularly to find new ways of thinking, refining, and sharpening our own writing. Have you made a goal of writing more over the summer? Is it somewhat daunting? overwhelming? terrifying?
Do you know how you fit into your teaching team? And how do we build an effective teaching team? On any given day you could find Cornelius talking about members of the Justice League or The Avengers. And in a sense he still is on today’s podcast. Cornelius is helping us think through how we assemble our teacher teams by looking to superhero teams. Much like members of The Avengers, our teaching teams all have different strengths, and how we apply those strengths matters to helping build a successful team.
Today we’re talking about the importance of working together as educators. While that might seem obvious, there are a lot of layers to getting it right. Cornelius thinks about this a lot in his PD work, but it wasn't until a student asked him if all of his co-teachers lived together that it got him thinking more deeply:
Feedback can sneak up on you in the most unlikely of places. For Cornelius Minor, it came from a former student at a laundromat. In our continuing series of conversations with Cornelius Minor we're talking about the importance of feedback and love in the classroom.
Like many English teachers, grading essays remains the part of my job that I enjoy the least. It isn’t just because of the time it consumes or the drudgery it involves. It’s because I’m afraid I’m going to do harm to a student writer under my care.
Years ago, my oldest son was in my sophomore honors English class filled with many of his friends. These were kids I had watched grow up since the second grade, kids who spent time at my house, played in my backyard, making crazy zombie movies that disturbed the neighbors, and now traveled with us to debate tournaments early on Saturday mornings. Perhaps because of my long connection to this group of kids, I put extra effort into grading these students’ essays, spending many Saturdays marking errors and giving copious feedback while I waited to judge rounds at debate tournaments. I knocked myself out for these kids.