Ten reasons why it’s still important to teach and to write today:
1. My students read books because they love to laugh, to cry, to feel deeply, and to imagine themselves solving problems and relating to others.
2. My students get wrapped up in thinking about their YA (young adult) protagonists and worlds.
3. My adolescent girl readers criticize boy characters who are too bossy or dismissive of intelligent and strong females.
4. My immigrant students help classmates imagine what it is like to come to America for hope and opportunity.
5. Teens learn to love and understand themselves and others through the power of good stories (and songs), not so much through philosophy, abstract arguments, reasoning, or history.
6. Students like reading and writing about meaningful (and silly) things, and finding an audience or an author who knows them.
7. Classes and lessons of all kinds offer space to meet others and share common interests. We show up to work and learn, but may discover something larger: connection.
8. Book clubs and writers’ groups give people a place to find language to describe what an author’s words do inside us. Members find voice and community.
9. Novels, comics, and true stories are tangible and real; they involve us in discussions about philosophical ideas like fairness, friendship, meaning, faith, strength, and choices.
10. Teachers and writers stretch imaginations, open space for dialog, evoke connections, and inspire hopeful and critical thinking.