"I like it when my students cry, when they read with solemnity and purpose, when the project of making meaning becomes personal. My middle school students turn again and again to highly charged young adult novels. The poems and stories they receive enthusiastically are the ones that pack the most emotional punch. Just as teens like to take physical risks, they are driven to take emotional risks. For teachers, emotion is our lever. The teen mind is our stone.
another way, emotion is the English teacher’s entry point for literary
exploration and for the development of the high-level skills outlined in
the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted in 45 states.
Unfortunately, the authors of the standards are not particularly
interested in emotional risk taking but rather in the avoidance of
political risk. It is a rather bloodless effort."
To read the full essay by Claire Needell Hollander, go to:
Illustration by Jon Han