This morning at the Heinemann Literacy Retreat in Boothbay, Maine, it is a glorious 60 degrees outside. Early this morning, rain fell. Now all is glistening in the morning light. Linda Rief is having us write about hands. I will not share the personal writing. It was a morning of very personal stories to be shared in person with others. However, since the piece was about hands, I flashed back to last night's lobster bake out on the grounds of this seaside resort. Long picnic tables, family style eating. We lined up to receive the lobsters as they came from the bed covered with seaweed. For some, there were squeals at this point. It was a whole lobster. Nothing like those beady eyes staring back at you. Then, it was time to deconstruct the lobster. Some required lessons. Some did not; they were "old hands." Others decided to forego the lobsters and opted to hot dogs and hamburgers instead.
What does this have to do with books and reading and education, you might ask (and rightfully so)? Well, see if this analogy works:
Some of us are old hands at "deconstructing" whether it be lobsters or text. Some of us have never had to do this before and are afraid. And some of us get squeamish and opt for something entirely different. How do we accommodate these differences? How do we make it so that the squeamish, the reluctant, and the practiced are able to have their responses heard? If we always have lobster are we locking some out? If we insist that everyone be practiced before they can "eat," does this negate the experience? And what do we do with those who are already skilled?
Is this not the challenge we face in our classrooms each and every day? How are we dealing with this?
Lots of questions here. Answers still being refined and developed and attempted.