professornana (professornana) wrote,
professornana
professornana

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H is for Honor

To quote Ferris Bueller: life goes by pretty fast. If you don't pay attention to it, you might miss something." How pop culture of me. But this line from the movie has really resonated with me. I keep getting these flashes of ideas as seemingly unrelated events, sentences, and other pieces seem to swim together. That is what is spawning these posts of late. I plan on a topic and then things happen. Case in point: today's topic H Is for Honor. Here is what made me think of addressing the topic of honor.

1. Today is Esther Day (see John Green's Tumblr for information on this: http://fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com/post/28557373623/everybody-was-told-to-make-a-funny-face-but-i). You can honor Esther by letting people know that you love them. You can honor Esther's life by supporting THIS STAR WON'T GO OUT, too.

2. Somehow Lincoln's Gettysburg Address keeps running through my head. The phrase that reverberates is "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground."

3. My friend, Daria Plumb, sent me a copy of her new book from VOYA, COMMANDO CLASSICS: A FIELD MANUAL FOR HELPING TEENS UNDERSTAND (AND MAYBE EVEN ENJOY) CLASSIC LITERATURE. (info here: http://www.amazon.com/Commando-Classics-Helping-Understand-Literature/dp/1617510084/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344028162&sr=8-1&keywords=Commando+Classics)

So back to HONOR. How do we honor our kids, especially when it comes to books and reading? Maslow talks about his needs hierarchy and includes esteem (respect) as part of the needs we have as humans, needs that have to be met. We need to give respect to what our kids are reading right now (if they are, indeed reading). Everything I see in canned programs and the new PDs being offered for CCSS are about pushing kids beyond where they are to "real" and "rigorous" and " challenging." How does that honor kids?

For years, my colleagues Lois Buckman and Bob Seney used DIRECTED INDIVIDUALIZED READING in our ELA classes. Developed by Terry Ley in the 70s, this approach gave kids the power to select their own books. As teachers we agreed to read their books and then to meet one-on-one with them to talk about the reading. Bob would occasionally roll his eyes as he committed to read yet another Sweet Valley High book. Ditto Lois and me with Piers Anthony. But, by honoring the kids and their selections, we showed them we respected their books. They were, in turn, more likely to turn to us for recommendations of new books.

I have so many colleagues who demonstrate this honoring of kids; they read the books their kids are reading. Is it any wonder then that their students approach books and reading with a decidedly positive attitude? How will we HONOR the kids and their choices when school resumes shortly?
Tags: honor
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