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11 August 2014 @ 01:46 pm
Rocking the Boat  
According to popular song, rocking the boat is a bad thing. Rocking the boat might end up with the boat tipped over, after all. Or, if you buy into the song from GUYS AND DOLLS, the devil will drag you under. But I think it is time to rock and boat.

We need to stand up and do some rocking or the boat will simply sit in the middle of a giant body of water and never get anywhere.

Okay, maybe this is a tortured metaphor, but it is based on my feeling that unless we speak out and speak out we will keep fighting the same battles over and over again.

Censorship, "balanced" literacy, new standards and new curriculum: it seems as though I slip in and out of time warps and emerge just as the latest iteration of the battle is launched. I wrote about preaching to the choir yesterday at the Nerdy Book Club. I have posted time and again about SpeakLoudly and fighting censorship. The current call for "balanced" literacy infuriates me.

I know we will never convince every single individual. But perhaps it is time to stand up and rock the boat a little. Stand up and stand firm about best practices. Donalyn Miller and I are hosting a chat each month featuring articles we believe are the foundations of our best practices. We have gone back and re-read Allington, Gambell, Krashen, and Kohn with more to come. We have the research. It points us in the right direction. We need to steer the boat in that direction. If that means doing some tipping and rocking, so be it.

So, as you go back into classrooms and face new semesters, set up the non-negotiables: the things you will go to the mat to defend. Make your points pointed. Let everyone know that you will do what is best for your classroom full of kids eager to find someone who will fight for them. Blanace be damned.
 
 
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