I began work at my new job on Monday. Although I miss the classroom, I’m invigorated by the teachers I’ve met so far and their passion for reading as a crucial skill for social change.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me: Reading is the thing we must teach our students.
To be sure, other skills are important, too. I’m not saying that we should shun writing and critical thinking and technology and compassion and 21st century skills.
But reading is fundamental.
Unfortunately, too many high school educators have forgotten about reading, or they’ve given up on students. By the time you’re in ninth grade, it’s too late.
But it isn’t too late — and it can’t be.
Today I visited a school that is launching the “Read Write Revolution.” The teachers are focusing on making reading instruction explicit in every classroom (yes, even in Math and Science). They’re also launching an independent reading program and an intensive intervention for students scoring way below grade level.
And they’re making powerful classroom door signs, too, like the one above.
I’m proud of their work. They’re sending the message that reading matters deeply, not just for college readiness but also for personal liberation and social justice.