ELA Teachers and Social Justice

We are being told of the evils of “cancel culture,” a new scourge that enforces purity, banishes dissent and squelches sober and reasoned debate.

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

But cancel culture is not new. A brief accounting of the illustrious and venerable ranks of blocked and dragged Americans encompasses Sarah Good, Elijah Lovejoy, Ida B. Wells, Dalton Trumbo, Paul Robeson and the Dixie Chicks. What was the Compromise of 1877, which ended Reconstruction, but the cancellation of the black South? What were the detention camps during World War II but the racist muting of Japanese-Americans and their basic rights?

The former N.F.L. quarterback Colin Kaepernick at a workout for talent scouts and the media in Riverdale, Ga., on Nov. 16.

Statement on Independent Reading

By NCTE

Independent reading leads to an increased volume of reading. The more one reads, the better one reads. The more one reads, the more knowledge of words and language one acquires. The more one reads, the more fluent one becomes as a reader. The more one reads, the easier it becomes to sustain the mental effort necessary to comprehend complex texts. The more one reads, the more one learns about the people and happenings of our world. This increased volume of reading is essential (Allington, 2014).

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CORE VALUES

As English language arts teachers, we

  • provide protected opportunities within our classrooms that allow students to increase their volume of reading through independent reading of self-selected texts.
  • recognize the importance of access to texts at a wide variety of reading levels, about a plethora of topics and interests, that offer multiple perspectives in classroom libraries and school libraries.
  • support readers through small-group and 1:1 conferences.
  • book-match to ensure students have accessible, high-interest texts.
  • build enthusiasm for reading.
  • cultivate a community of readers through modeling of independent reading and conversations about reading.
  • “build intercultural understanding” through literature (Short, 2009, p. 2).