A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My E-mail to Guilford High School

Since the recent story about a Connecticut teacher resigning after parental complaints concerning his asking a student to read Daniel Clowes' Eightball #22 corresponds so well with one of the talks I'll be giving at this year's NCTE convention, I decided to offer my services to the high school where the action took place. Here's my letter to the principal at Guilford HS:

"Hello, I am James Bucky Carter. I recently edited a book entitled _Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels_. Published by the National Council of Teachers of English, the book offers suggestions on how to use graphic novels in the 6-12 classroom.I know you all recently had an event that may have some of your teachers resistant to using GN's in their classrooms. Indeed, at this year's NCTE in NYC, I will be leading a roundtable discussion on how to avoid the pitfalls and roadblocks associated with using graphic novels. I just wanted to bring that to your attention.

As a sort of preview, in my reaction to the Eightball incident on my blog, I list 2-3 suggestions for teachers who want to consider GN's but might now be afraid to. My blog is http://www.ensaneworld.blogspot.com/.Trolling the archives will also reveal many legitimate resources for using sequential art in the classroom.

Also, if you think your school community would like to hear me speak on the subject of graphic novels, I'm a member of NCTE's cosponsored speaker program.Best to you and your school (and to Mr. Fisher too) as you all seek a return to normal.

James B. Carter"

So far, I've not had a response, but the New Haven Register has printed a follow-up story with more info on graphic novels and which also states that higher-level personnel have deemed the material inappropriate, so maybe the system is just trying to put it behind them. Still, I hope their remaining teachers aren't afraid to use sequential art in their classrooms now.....

I felt I should do something proactive about the situation, something that took the emphasis off the past and focused on the future and also tried to preserve a place for sequential art narratives in the classroom. It wasn't much, but at least I offered.

No comments: