This week Emma applauds and celebrates the authors and illustrators who contribute a wealth of literature that explores such diverse and relevant matters for the lives, interests and learning of children and teens – and pure magic for teachers to engage their students.
No matter which subject area I am planning for; no matter which aspect of literacy I am trying to model - I firstly seek out a text. I start with a text because I know that I will find something that fits the bill. Something that will provide the ultimate provocation. That will spark joy and wonder. Something that will be a springboard for rich and powerful learning. Something that will tell the story I need to tell.
And often in these searches (which incidentally I happily get completely lost in), I stumble upon a story or two that I didn’t even know I needed! And whenever this happens, I tuck it away for that perfect moment. Because it will come.
I’ve recently been reflecting on this reliance, that we as educators have on texts to support our classroom programs. This reflection first began to bubble when the ‘Reading Wars’ were reignited in the media, as the Australian Curriculum review commenced; and as various jurisdictions around the country came out in support of phonics-based principles and practices. It got me thinking though, that regardless of what the media tout about a raging reading war – schools continue to rely on the rich array of texts available to us, as we strive towards confident, happy and successful readers. How lucky are we? The range of texts available, the content, the quality. The breadth of themes. The endless examples of authorial techniques. The vast vocabulary. The mystery and intrigue. The inspirational life stories of authors themselves. The sheer entertainment and the questions posed.
And for this, this rich array of classroom resources, I thank the authors. The magic and the inspiration, and not to mention the learning, that you bring to each, and every, classroom, every day, is most appreciated. Without it, I know for certain that my classroom would not be the place it is today.
From all of us in schools - thank you!
Teacher, reader and passionate advocate for children’s literature
Editor’s note: To discover some local Tasmanian children’s book creators represented in the images above, visit the CBCA Tasmania Creators page on the website and investigate how you can bring a creator into the classroom through CBCA Tas Workshops in Schools Program, supported by the Department of Education, Tasmania.