From the NCTE Middle Level Section Steering Committee
We are thrilled to welcome you to the Middle Level Section’s new, monthly blog post series, Between Us . . .!
The middle grades, adolescent learners themselves, and the challenges facing middle level educators, especially in our current social, cultural, and political landscape, are unique.
As our title implies, these years are a time in-between; a time of transition. We’re in between childhood and young adulthood. We’re in between the joys of elementary literacy and the excitement of studying English as a discipline in high school. We’re in between the identities of our youth, and those we start to forge for the future.
And we’re often left in between curriculum resources, trying to scale up elementary ideas and lessons, or simplify high school units.
Too often, we forget how critical this time of “in-betweens,” of transitions, is, and we miss the unique and curious tensions of identity, development, and relationship that are central for literacy in grades 6–8. That space in between is messy, but it matters, and, well, between us, it’s time we talked more about it!
In these monthly posts, we look forward to examining pressing issues for middle grades literacy teachers, reviewing issues related to adolescent literacy development, considering new instructional ideas, reflecting on tensions and challenges in our profession, and exploring new ideas and directions in education. Through all of it, we’ll keep a focus on the unique demands of the middle grades, and on questions of equity and justice.
Whether you’re a dedicated middle grades educator, or from one of NCTE’s other sections, we hope that you’ll tune in for these posts as an ongoing conversation—between us—about the unique experience of middle school teaching and literacy learning, and the social, cultural, and political challenges impacting our profession.
Expect to hear from your Middle Level Steering Committee, your Voices from the Middle editorial team, but also from other NCTE leaders, authors, and members. And if you have an idea or would like to contribute your writing to the “Between Us . . .” series, please feel free to reach out to us for more information.
Middle Level Section Steering Committee Chair
Michael Domínguez is an assistant professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University, and a veteran middle school literacy educator. His work and teaching focus on culturally sustaining pedagogies for youth of color in the middle grades, decolonial teacher education, and K–12 ethnic studies. He is proud to serve as chair of the Middle Level Section Steering Committee, supporting the important work done by NCTE’s middle grades educators.
It is the policy of NCTE in all publications, including the Literacy & NCTE blog, to provide a forum for the open discussion of ideas concerning the content and the teaching of English and the language arts. Publicity accorded to any particular point of view does not imply endorsement by the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, the staff, or the membership at large, except in announcements of policy, where such endorsement is clearly specified.