Politics in the classroom isn’t new, but it does feel different this year. The violence in Charlottesville coincided with the back to school rush, and our nation’s violent partisan reality looms as a silent force in many teachers’ and students’ minds.
How do educators create a society of readers? It’s not by restricting reading to an accepted range of Lexile levels or only books that have a quiz attached to them. Reading levels can be a useful tool to assist in guiding a child to the right book for them, but when those numbers become the only determining factor of what is acceptable to read, we have a problem.
For a teacher or librarian, summer reading is not just fun and relaxing — it’s research for our future work with young readers. As part of this research, it’s also a good time to take stock of our individual selection strengths and weaknesses, our leanings and our blind spots as we choose books. Summer is a great time to reflect on how we can broaden our reading and selection habits so that we make sure we are serving all our students and patrons.
The Florida legislature is well on its way to approving a bill that could have dramatic consequences for Florida students’ and teachers’ intellectual freedom. Proponents of HB 989 / SB 1210 claim that the bill improves transparency and gives parents a stronger voice in their children’s education. But we have to ask questions about these claims.
A school librarian explained that her administration would be installing security cameras in her school library, and she wondered if she should voice a protest to the decision. An interesting discussion evolved from her initial inquiry.
On March 21, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (NC) chose to voluntarily pull Jacob’s New Dress from a lesson on anti-bullying because Republican legislators in the state’s General Assembly were up in arms … Why this abrupt decision and interest by the General Assembly? It’s a simple answer: HB2.
In October, a parent in Issaquah, WA objected at the district school board meeting to the inclusion of ‘Mangaman’ in the high school library.
Far more than just “keepers of the printed book” (our original job description), we are now, perhaps more than ever, guardians of our teens’ emotional as well as intellectual needs. A large part of our job responsibility is to provide a safe space, a blanket of warmth and comfort, a plethora of intellectual and emotional resources to the young adults we serve.
A new report from a UK digital textbook provider has shown that many students are fine with teacher snooping if it ends up leading to increased classroom performance. The report, titled “University of the Future,” implies a strong benefit to allowing teachers to track what students have read and how long they have spent studying.
Regulations have been proposed and are being considered by the Virginia Board of Education which would require local school districts to tell parents whenever books or textbooks contain “sexually explicit material” are being used for teaching.