There are a TON of things I’ve wanted to tell you all about, but I’ve been so stinking busy lately that I’ve not had a spare moment to sit down to write!
Let me start by letting you know (and thereby reminding myself) that the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week is upon us. Even today – at this very moment – small-minded people are trying to limit the access that others have to written material. Tense Teacher experienced something of this sort with her summer reading list. It’s happening, and it’s happening now.
Freedom requires vigilance, People. We earn our freedom by being careful and aware and informed. Efforts to restrict – or outright ban – books are born out of fear that results in a need to control how others think, and there’s nothing about that that’s okay. I’m going to wear my “I teach banned books” tee shirt to work tomorrow, and will announce the banned books week in the morning announcements.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that my kids will get a banned books activity to do in class tomorrow, too, especially since our school is very open and progressive and I’m betting it never even occurs to these kids that this sort of thing happens today. Part of my responsibility as their teacher is to model good citizenship, and honoring banned books week is one of the ways that I stay engaged and active in my community and my world. I want my students to think about the implications of banned books week – I want them to wonder about what other people don’t think they should be allowed to think about. I want them to understand that this is a relevant topic right now – that it’s not something relegated to history – and I want them to get mad enough to do something about it.
I love my job.