By Lauren Aimonette Liang, CLA Blog Co-editor
2022 is off to a tough start for educators. Many schools have pivoted to a temporary return to remote learning or are functioning with significant staffing issues and student absences due to Covid exposures and illnesses. There is no denying the weight of this extra burden on all working in preK-12 and university classrooms.
The CLA blog began in March 2020 with the start of the first major wave of Covid infections and subsequent changes to school environments. Xenia and I hoped this new blog could offer some practical support for CLA members and the greater education community who were using children’s literature in their newly online or remote settings. We knew our Assembly members collectively hold an amazing wealth of ideas, lessons, and outstanding resources highlighting the best of children’s literature; and we hoped the blog would become a place where educators could easily tap into this treasure-trove and share their own contributions.
Almost two years later, I am personally wowed by the posts in this blog. Each week I have gained new insights into how to effectively use a wide variety of resources and discovered exceptional lessons to use and share with the teachers and classrooms with whom I work. I find myself often revisiting the blog and clicking the category tags to remind myself of ideas that I want to try out. By the number of visits to this blog, we think that you are also finding the offerings of this virtual community to be a key resource.
This spring, the CLA Blog will continue to offer weekly posts full of lessons and resources to help support all educators as they share children’s literature with their students in all classroom contexts, however these may appear.
It is beyond difficult to predict how our classrooms, and our lives as educators, may look come March or May. But what we do know is that each of you reading this post remains committed to advocating for the centrality of literature in children’s academic and personal lives. We know that even on the hardest days you continue to share your enthusiasm for books with the children and young adults in your lives. You find ways to make stories and informational text accessible to students in all situations, and to fight back against those people or institutions that might create limits or barriers.
Each of you deserves so much more than a virtual hug of support. (Some fully paid vacations, a significant increase in salary, the actual materials you need to do your job, and a reduction in classroom sizes would be nice as a start!) While we cannot offer you these things, we do extend our most sincere thanks for the work you do every day.
We look forward to your weekly visits to the blog over the next five months. This winter and spring, the blog will feature posts from:
Lauren Aimonette Liang is Associate Professor at the Deparment of Educational Psychology of the University of Utah. She is Past President of CLA and co-editor of the CLA Blog.
Apply to Be On the Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts Committee
The charge of the seven-member national committee is to select 30 books that best exemplify the criteria established for the Notables Award. Books considered for this annual list are works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for children, grades K-8. More information and application materials are available on the CLAwebsite.
To be considered for the NCBLA Award committee, please email your application packet to the incoming committee chair (2022-2023) Fran Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org), by the application deadline, January 30th by 11:59pm. Incomplete or late application packets will not be considered. Committee appointments will be decided by the CLA president, current NCBLA chair, and past NCBLA chair.
Your application packet should include the following documents:
Good luck with your committee application!