The wisdom and power of Carol Jago’s presidential address to the 99th annual meeting of the National Council for the Teaching of English earlier this month reminded us that there’s simply no better advocate for great teaching than great teachers themselves. Here’s a sample. We hope you will read more.
“If we care only about keeping our kids satisfied with their lot as Deltas [de-emotionalized beings from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World], turning the language arts curriculum into a giant online game may be an excellent plan. If, on the other hand, we believe that our mission as teachers is to prepare students for life in the real world, teaching literature seems to me a much superior one. We need to help kids figure out how to make this a better, not an alternate universe.”
“I do not believe that teaching literature should be about dragging students kicking and screaming through works they hate and poems they find opaque. It should be about nurturing the next generation of readers – readers who one day may choose to buy a ticket for a performance of Macbeth, who will excitedly order the latest Cormac McCarthy for their Kindles and Nooks, who can find solace in poetry during times of trouble. Much is made of the economic impact of education, but I’m more concerned about preparing students’ hearts and minds for whatever the future may hold.”