We took a moment to round-up this year’s top posts from the EDU blog.
During a year that has been unlike any other, these posts from renowned authors and educators explore critical topics including fostering equity, spotlighting books that challenge the status quo, and integrating authentic anti-racist practices into pedagogy and curricula. These blog posts also explore the importance of access to books and reading aloud to support students year-round.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to EDU this year! In alphabetical order by author, below are the top five most-read posts of 2020.
By Stephanie Agresti
In March, School Library Journal and Scholastic named Cicely Lewis, a school librarian at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Georgia, the 2020 School Librarian of the Year. In this Q&A, Cicely details the origins of her Read Woke initiative, discusses the essential role of school librarians, and shares her tips for fellow educators and librarians to help support students, and each other, while schools are closed due to COVID-19. “My advice is to practice self-care first. You can't take care of anyone unless you are okay. Put your oxygen mask on first,” says Cicely.
By Lester Laminack, author of The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource: 2nd Edition
In celebration of World Read Aloud Day, writer and consultant Lester Laminack encourages educators to try reading nonfiction aloud, and shares his personal read-aloud memories from childhood. He says, “The teacher’s voice was the vehicle that took us into the story. That voice set a pace, translated the mood and tone, and became a model for what I heard later when I read silently. There was no need to prompt us with questions because we were living alongside those characters.”
By Cassy Lee, teacher librarian at Chinese American International School in San Francisco, CA; 2018 School Library Journal Librarian Champion of Student Voice
In the past few years, Cassy Lee has been dedicated to approaching her work through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I’ve rooted my programming, professional development, committee work, and teacher collaborations in deepening my own and students’ and fellow teachers’ understanding of diversity and social justice issues such as institutional racism, and have created opportunities to empower folks to take action,” she explains. Cassy outlines her tips for other educators to foster equity in their own classrooms, libraries, and schools.
By Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy
In this Q&A with Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, an associate professor at Georgia State University, she describes a path forward to help educators weave equity, anti-racism, anti-oppression, cultural responsiveness and the Black Lives Matter movement into pedagogy. “What teachers and administrators can do right now is disrupt the norms, disrupt the things that they may have typically done to not bring it up, and really think about how their leadership practices and teaching practices are enabling identity development and learning the truth about people of color,” notes Dr. Muhammad.
By Eileen Sprague, PK-5 Humanities Curriculum Administrative Supervisor at Stoughton Public School District in Stoughton, MA
Since increasing access to books and encouraging reading year-round, Stoughton Public Schools has seen a positive shift in the district’s culture of literacy. Eileen Sprague details how she created a Drive-Thru Book Window, which sparked joy and curiosity in students. “…Students come to me on their own with genuine interest in exploring books and wanting to read,” says Eileen. “When the weather warms up, our window readers will not only have more access, but also choice. What better way to cultivate lifelong readers!”