Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Academic journal article English Journal

From the Editors

Article excerpt

Our classrooms reflect and challenge the learners who fill them. To reflect adolescents, we seek to create authentic, optimistic experiences. To challenge them, we aim to cultivate critical dispositions that encourage youth to question compliance and consider the purposes and consequences of defiance. As teachers, we are fully present in today's world, even as we prepare learners for tomorrow. We practice in partnerships as small as one-on-one conferences with writers and as large as the historicities and futurities of our field. In between, we engage in dialogue with our colleagues next door and with the communities we serve. Like a beating heart, our work expands and contracts. It expands into unknown territories where we explore technologies and make meaning with the innovative identities learners construct in our presence. And it contracts into classic literature, rules of usage and grammar, and the enduring truths (and tensions) of teaching and learning.

Our charge is to develop academic skills that foster imagination, civic engagement, and ingenuity: to develop predictable skills to live in an unpredictable future. English teachers find inspiration in learners, in language, and in literature. Our legacy is to inspire the next generation to experience language, literature, and learning as multisensory, multimodal, and meaningful. Few would argue with these ideas. Many might wonder how to squeeze such lofty ambitions into the four walls that we inhabit with our learners-spaces shaped by preset timeframes and limited resources that seem anathema to possibility and imagination.

Reminiscent of the heartbeats that resonate in our classrooms, this issue exhibits and investigates the spectrum of secondary English. …

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