Yesterday, I posted what I termed some short rants (and a few raves, too, to offer balance). It turns out, that these short rants caused some others to reach out to me to offer some other topics to rant about in future posts. So, in the cartoon above I would be the can and they the can opener, I guess? Does not matter. I love when others offer me hot topics that cause me to reflect and respond here. So, here is a nice juicy worm from one of my FB friends.
At a recent workshop, a new teacher admitted that he believed YA literature was important as far as the presenter was concerned but he, personally, hated it. His question was interesting, "how am I supposed to show kids excitement about something I do not like myself?" At my advanced age, I might have suggested he pursue another profession or obtain whatever certification and degrees he needed to teach classics at a community college. But that is brushing aside some other issues that need to be addressed.
1. I wonder how this person had taken a YAL class and now been moved by what he read. I wonder how he could have read some of the incredibly rich literature written for YAs and not been personally touched. What did he read? What sort of activities were part of the course? Was there discussion? Was there time for reflection? Did his professor note that he was unmoved or did he play the college game of pretending to be enthralled just to get through?
2. Had I not known this young man had taken a YAL class, I would have chalked it up to the situation that is occurring more and more: courses like these are giving way to other required courses. For years, our undergrad teacher education majors HAD to take a course either in children's or YAL to graduate. Now, that requirement is gone. I KNOW my colleagues include YA and children's books in other classes, but they do not have the leisure I had to take an entire semester to read, reflect, and write about books and kids.
3. My main concern is that this young man is heading out into a classroom not "liking" (and I think it is not so much a like but a respect situation) books that can touch the lives of his students. What happens to them? the EC of ALAN
Now, for some raves to provide a balance.
1. My colleague and I filled 4 carts with books yesterday. This morning, there were already folks in the hall going through the books. Someone else contacted me on FB to make sure the office would be open tomorrow so she could come up and clim books, too.
2. Today, the EC of ALAN talked about the workshop. I will pot about that in the next week or so. But let me go ahead and give you a few teasers of who will be there: NAMCY GARDEN, ELLIOT SCHREFER, CHRIS CRUTCHER, JACK GANTOS, JOAN BAUER, ELLEN HOPKINS, JACQUELINE WOODSON, WALTER MAYES, and more.
3. When I post my #bookaday pictures to Twitter and Facebook, there are immediate responses/reactions. Many of them are in this vein: "WANT." Yesterday I put a box in the mail to a friend for her high school boys. I sent single books to a couple of others. I will hand some off to my sister tomorrow for a friend's granddaughter.
Books are alive and well and loved. So, hope floats, hope is here, hope endures.