Part One: An introduction
As middle level educators, we are in danger of becoming irrelevant.
Especially in the subject that should be known as "Literacy," not "English" or "Language Arts"
If we truly believe that our job as educators is to prepare our kids for the future, why do we rely on techniques, resources, and strategies that we used decades ago।
How long ago something was done, though, really isn't the point. Kid need to be literate in every sense of the word: they need to be agile, creative thinkers who can manage, navigate, and critically review a lot of information.
That means kids need to be able to:
- read and comprehend many different texts,
- figure out how to make meaning when they don't understand,
- judge when something is accurate or not,
- write responses and critiques,
- summarize information into something that makes sense to them,
- combine what they know with new information to create new understandings,
- learn the hands-on technology of creating and using podcasts, etc.
Whew, that's a lot, and that's just the beginning.
Further, these adolescent kids need to learn to navigate personally through a world that changes so rapidly it boggles my old brain.
So why are we still waiting?