What to teach when reading is hard…

December 10, 2014  |  Culture, Teaching

My colleagues Carla, Natalie, Shveta, and I are leading this institute right now.

I’m a lucky guy. I get to spend three days with a fantastic team and some of the country’s most dedicated teachers making possibility out of what can feel heavy and impossible sometimes. My job is to help districts and schools turn kids into passionate readers and writers. What this really means is I get to learn about the different cities, villages, and communities that I serve, so that I can help their young people to discover the things that inspire them to read and write.

Many of you have followed my journey these last few years. My work has taken me to¬†schools all over the world, and I am continually shocked by the rampant structural inequity that exists within and among schools. This has been well documented — even in my own city.

We all know how this plays out. When whole communities, entire schools, or groups of teachers don’t get what they need, students suffer. Minorities, poor students, and students with disabilities do so disproportionally.

These challenges have persisted for generations. What I love about our profession is that teachers are always take the lead in the fight to overcome these challenges. As people ask, “What next?” teachers don’t answer with words. They answer with deeds. They gather their students and teach. We know that there are no easy answers. We also know that progress begins with us — great teaching, resource sharing, community building… We know that science, math, art, and history are the heart of this progress. All of those things need a foundation of strong literacy.

How do we deliver all of this to populations of students who need tremendous inspiration and support?

This week, we get to think all of this. More importantly we get to act on it.

Here are some of the resources that will assist us in that work.


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