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!
I teach at Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school. Rindge sits in the shadow of Harvard University—one of the best institutions for higher learning in the world. Yet, despite many who insist that my school’s diversity and opportunity are afforded to all students, I know otherwise. Here, students begin the ninth grade on one of two tracks: the (misnamed) College Prep track or the Honors track. The College Prep (CP) track (or “Colored People” track as some students unofficially call it) serves students of color, students with disabilities, students of lower socioeconomic class, and others. The Honors track tends to include students who are white, middle or upper class, and who have parents who are actively involved in their educations.
Students experience education differently depending on their track designation.
“Children want to write.” These words are just as true now as they were twenty years ago when I first wrote them, at the beginning of Chapter 1. I would only add, “If we let them.”
–Don Graves, 2003
By Jaclyn Karabinas
Teaching is hard. Writing is hard. Teaching writing can be extremely hard, especially when you believe so strongly in the value of combining these crafts, but you feel isolated and lack the community to support this hard work. Perhaps you have never taken on Writing Workshop with your students but know this is what will spark engagement and growth in your students. Maybe you have been at it for awhile… but feel as though you keep hitting roadblocks. We all have a story. Together, we can make this happen in the name of growing student writers.
In a video blog below, author Colleen Cruz describes what she believes to be something great happening in schools today: teachers building relationships and working together. We agree—and this is why we look forward to hosting a summer book study!
A year ago, I did not think I would be ready for year two of my research. Who am I kidding, at our Heinemann Fellows meeting in Denver last December, I felt my research faltering. But after an inspiring and rejuvenating three days with my co-fellows where Ellin Keene mentored us through a deep dive into our data, I had a realization: if I was going to move my students, I needed to focus more closely on my own biases and how I enacted those biases in our classroom.
My research question—In what ways does the exploration of personal identity through reading and discourse impact students’ perceptions of themselves as stigmatized readers?—made me look long and hard at my teaching practice.
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: