Many White teachers, like us, enter the field enamored of characters like Huck for what they allow us to feel as White people, especially in relation to people of color: heroic, on the right side of history, doing our part to combat racism through our teaching of literature. This is partly why so many of us reach for a text like Huckleberry Finn when we think about how it is that we (think) we address racism through our literature instruction. It feels good to “join” Huck in his decision to help Jim. And pointing out this decision through our teaching feels like we are doing work towards antiracist ends.
In most Western European nations (with a few exceptions, such as the U.K.), children learn to read at the age of 6. Even in the U.S., the practice of teaching children to decode words at age 5 is fairly recent. Teaching reading in kindergarten became popular with the rise of standardized testing. This was based on the assumption that early reading would give children a head start, allowing them to do better on the standardized tests they would take in the upper elementary grades. Did the strategy work?
As writing teachers, our fundamental pedagogical goal is to facilitate our students’ abilities to develop their voices through writing. We are keenly aware of this goal with our education students, who come to our Writing in Education courses often underestimating the amount, and importance, of writing they will produce as teachers
Winner of the 2018 Literacy Research Association’s Edward B. Fry Book Award, Reading the Rainbow: LGBTQ-Inclusive Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Classroom addresses LGBTQ topics in early education. Drawing on examples of teaching from elementary school classrooms, this timely book for practitioners explains why LGBTQ-inclusive literacy instruction is possible, relevant, and necessary in grades K–5.
We’re excited to see you in Houston for National Council of Teachers in English 2018! We’re looking forward to dining on Tex-Mex and BBQ, viewing Houston Street art, and more. When you’re not at Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s general session or Luis Moll’s elementary section, why not visit the TC Press booth?
Teaching poetry can be a tough but rewarding experience for language arts teachers. Jimmy Santiago Baca uses his experience as a poet and mentor to help students and teachers engage in the complex medium of poetry. Below, we’re sharing an original poem and discussion questions that teachers can use in their classrooms.