• Hello Parents/Guardians!

     

    A central goal of Reading Language Arts (RLA) is to establish a reading habit in the busy lives of our students. I am hoping we can work together to recapture the pleasure and passion of readers. Please read through this letter and know what you are signing before you do so.

    The best books challenge our beliefs by helping us see through different eyes--to live a different life. I won’t know the details of every book students read and refer to this year, and I won’t remember the details of all the books I recommend to students. What I seek for all of my students is a compulsion to read--for pleasure--for knowledge--for a passion for story or information that will keep them into the pages of a book past our assigned time for reading. It’s so important that they are reading! So you may pick up a book left behind on a nightstand or on the kitchen table and open to a passage with the details of a group of child soldiers in Sudan mercilessly slaughtering an entire village (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah) and wonder why reading it is a homework assignment, and I will answer, “Your son or daughter chose it.” I might have recommended it because I read it and loved it, or the book may be unfamiliar to me because your child borrowed it from another student, or it may be one of the current TAYSHAS books (if they read 5 TAYSHAS books from and complete reports over each one, they receive a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble). The bottom line is I will not place a tight filter on what is read in this class and I’m asking for your support in this. I hope you will talk to your child about what he/she is reading this semester and have amazing conversations at home.

    We will also read some books as a class or in our book clubs that contain some content that different families might find challenging.  We want to partner with families and work together to make sure that our classrooms are successful.  While the focus of our teaching will never be on sensitive topics, often these books provide some of the best platforms to engage our students in rigorous thoughtful TEKS-based teaching and learning.  That said, we are always happy to have discussions with parents about finding alternative texts when using books where the element of student choice is absent.

    I suggest you get a copy of a book and read it if you’re concerned about the content. If you want to know more about a book your child is reading, please try the American Library Association website or barnesandnoble.com or contact me. I’ll tell you what I know.

    Because I respect your role as parents and the traditions you hold sacred, if you want me to more closely monitor your child’s choices this semester, by all means, call/email me and we’ll work out a plan that we can both contribute to.

    If you sign this, it means that you understand books won’t be banned in my classroom and your child will be allowed to choose what he/she wants to read, but our desire is to partner with families to find solutions when something is not a good fit.  All you need to do is reach out.

     

    Thanks for your support, 

     

    RLA Department



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    Student’s Name Parent’s Name