Using Summer Reading to Recharge - National Council of Teachers of English
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Using Summer Reading to Recharge

Many educators spend their summers reading, for personal as well as professional reasons. The following resources from NCTE offer suggestions and possibilities for the reading we do to recharge over the summer break.

By sharing our experiences, we can be the hero or muse that somebody else needs, says author René Colato Laínez, a special guest contributor to the May 2022 issue of Language Arts. Included in his article, “The Gift of Telling Our Stories,” are recommendations for how you can build on Lainez’s ideas in your own classroom, from Tracey Flores and Emily Machado, “Implications for Our Writing Classrooms”.

Will you have time to investigate new approaches this summer? In “Resisting High-Stakes Educational Reform through Genre Writing in a Multilingual Classroom” (Language Arts, January 2022) you’ll learn how one second-grade teacher centered student brilliance through a series of instructional design choices that drew from systemic functional linguistics (SFL) genre pedagogy (a functional, language-focused approach to writing.) Self-reflective guiding questions and recommendations are offered at the end for teachers who would like to consider implementing similar pedagogies.

“Flexible thinking allows teachers to design instruction around the students they have rather than curriculum they have taught in the past,” say Stephanie Robillard and Antero Garcia, authors of “Quilting the Way to Freedom: Flexibility in the Middle School Classroom,” from the March 2022 issue of Voices from the Middle. They urge us to constantly stretch toward increasingly liberatory practices for our students. Learn more and inspire your thinking for next fall!

If you’re already thinking not just about your book selections for next fall but about whether they’ll face challenges, sadly, you’re probably not alone. In “What Happens to Knowledge Deferred? Defending Books from Conservative, White Censors” (English Journal, May 2022), two educators report on a thought experiment in which they imagined themselves in  conversation  with parents  who question the merit of assigned books. While acknowledging their limitations as advisors, they offer a list of talking points that they have found themselves returning to during the imagined conversations.

Enjoy your summer!