Open Teaching -- March 29, 2016
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It’s a verb. Not a noun. It’s an action, not a thing. If transformation is the butterfly, then transform is what happens in the ugly cocoon that keeps us isolated, yet snug; confined, yet protected. Not unlike the cocoon threads of book spines that let us feed on the experience born of those pages, reading gives us access to other parts of ourselves. In reading, we are confronted and compelled, we change as we situate ourselves with characters and concepts. We carefully try on new ideas and are nourished by familiar ones.

When we fall into reading, into books, we are insulated for a time. Eventually we’ll emerge and when we do, if it had been the right book at the right time, we’ll see the impact of protected space: delight, action, astonishment, uncertainty, joy, clarity, concern.

We don’t transform because of assessments or worksheets, the mechanics of school. We transform when we’re given enough insulated space to do the invisible work of becoming.
Each week I go to my bookshelf, find a page that speaks to me and then share my raw musings. If you want to dig a little deeper, click on the image, look for the buttons, and follow the conversation in my head, captured in the margins. Enjoy!

Josh Parker's interview reminded me that many truths about teaching have come to me, first, as truths about reading. It seemed appropriate to choose these pages from Kelly Gallagher's, Readicide, where he forces us to confront what we intuitively know about cultivating readers.
Copyright © 2016 Sarah Brown Wessling, All rights reserved.

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