A Message From ORA President Elect:

Today I read two blog posts that were wonderful reminders for the start of the school year.  It is so easy to be caught up in the details of organizing a classroom, putting up decorations, and getting our physical surroundings in order that we may not take the time to consider and reconsider our goals as teachers, especially teachers of literacy.  As Mark Condon reminds us, our goal is to have students who choose to read as a lifelong endeavor. While we often feel the pressures of Common Core Standards and scores on state assessments, these are short term goals.  What we really want is to create citizens that use literacy as a way of being thoughtful participants in our democracy.  We need to be cautious so that we do not sacrifice this long-term goal for short term results.  Paul Thomas reminds us that the opening day of class is to learn who we are and to develop the concept of why we are here. As teachers, we need to remind ourselves that the relationships with our students are of prime importance. As much as we teach what we know, we teach who we are and what we value. If we value literacy, we give time in our classroom for read-alouds, time to talk about books, and time for students to read self-selected books. These books need to be ones that engage the students at a difficulty level that matches their abilities.  May your year be rich and fulfilling as you help students find just the right book that continues them on their paths to lifelong literacy.

 

–Carol Lauritzen

ORA president-elect