On the Same Page by Janet Allen
In a Language Arts article by Mem Fox, she reminds us of the importance of reflection and action in making instructional choices: “Although we haven’t lost our way, I do fear that we are diverted all too often from the main road of literacy teaching onto detours which lead, from time to time, to less challenge, less struggle, less delight, less reality, less learning, and ultimately, less literacy. I believe we lose our way and have lost our way every time a new orthodoxy hits the school system” (2001, 105–113). As you read and discuss this book, it is my hope that you see this as a catalyst for reflection and exploration, and not another orthodoxy. In keeping with that hope, I have provided prompts in three broad categories: reflection, exploration, and action. The reflection prompts ask you to think about your own background as a learner and as a teacher. Exploration prompts then support connections between and among your
backgrounds and the words and experiences in the chapter being highlighted. The action prompts support the transfer of your discussion back into the classroom and anticipate the content of the next chapter of the text. In this way, we share an opportunity to create the texts of our own teaching lives while enjoying the benefits of being on the same page.