The summer courses offer no shortcuts, require no fewer assignments. That means dedicated students who will spend most of each day working on class assignments. While I would love to provide them more time, I can't. And I cannot see offering fewer requirements for the summer. Everything needs to be covered.
But the seminar permits me some wiggle room. I can set up the general areas of study and give students CHOICE about topics. The past few summers have offered these topics: APPS, Audiobooks, Current Trends in Literature, Nonfiction Study, and the Changing Landscape of Literature and Literacy. Students select a topic and complete the work.
I trust that I have set up the course so that they know how to get started, know the steps they need to take to complete the coursework. I trust they will be successful. I trust my students. And this is no different, really, from when I worked with middle school learners. I trust learners. I hope they trust me as well.
I have been thinking a great deal about trust lately. Sometimes it is hard to trust. When cultural icons seem to tumble from their pedestal, when leaders betray their electorate, when caregivers seem not to care at all. But I still trust. I trust readers. I trust their word. I trust their ability to select a book, to respond to a text, to connect one text to another.
In a perfect world, my courses would be set up differently. The online environment demands some changes. The time frame demands more adjustments. But the trust, the trust remains. If that makes me naive, so be it. If some readers elect to short circuit the work, to cut corners: I have no control over that. But I refuse to believe this happens often. I trust readers. I trust that readers who are in the courses to become school librarians know the important work they are doing and will continue to do. I trust readers. I trust they will leave the courses and continue to be models of literacy. I trust they will work to match readers to books. I trust they will understand the sacred nature of their work.
I trust readers.