Stop Teaching Whole Class Novels: UPDATED February 27, 2022…
Up until two days ago, this post had not been live since 2017. I was teaching at the time, and when it went viral, I freaked. I was worried my colleagues and/or school admins would read it. I worried I would have backlash at work (all of our ELA teachers taught with whole-class novels at that time) or that it would draw negative attention from my image-conscious administrators.
So I took the post down. It’s too bad because the comments really had some good discussions going.
Now, it’s been almost five years since the post went viral. I have no idea if the viral-ness will happen again. I kind of hope it doesn’t because I did not enjoy the attention (both positive and negative) that came with virality.
But I haven’t worked in a school since 2019. I left education after 18 years after a toxic school environment put me off it, maybe forever.
There are no repercussions from toxic administrators now. No teacher colleagues to get upset with what I wrote.
I re-read the post, and I still wholeheartedly stand by what I wrote.
Yes, I know some of you won’t like what I’m saying. That’s okay, too. All I ask is that we consider WHY we are teaching the novels we are teaching. Reading is such a personal act. Is it really because it’s “best for” the students? Or is it because we loved those novels ourselves?
Last, I want to mention the poll I refer to at the beginning of the article. I created that poll when this blog was still on Blogger. I switched to WordPress in 2019 and lost the poll and the results. Apologies for that–I would love for people to keep answering it! At least you can still see the question and my wording.
So without further ado, I give you my most controversial post to date…