You are my heroes. Seriously. If not for writers, I would have been a lonely child, and I wouldn't have much to talk to students about either. Many of you give selflessly to students and teachers.
Just this past summer, Kate Messner devoted most of her time to mentoring teachers in her Teachers Write online workshop. A whole plethora of writers joined in, offering free books, teaching ideas, and time, such an important commodity. Every Friday, Gae Polisner hosted Friday Feedback on her blog, taking the time to respond to my amateurish scratchings and enlisting her network of writer friends to do the same. Jo Knowles honored us with a Monday morning warm-up, and responded to our submissions both via her blog and Kate's. Many other writers also selflessly gave.
A whole host of you Skype with students, read and respond to teacher and student letters, travel to NCTE and ALAN and sign hundreds of books so we teachers can bask a little in your celebrity.
Many more talk to us on Twitter and even follow us there and on Facebook. The prolific John Green has even created a whole YouTube channel called Crash Course devoted to speaking directly to students and sharing stories about life, school, etc. I love how he focuses on two of my favorite classic texts, Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby in "How and Why We Read: Crash Course English Literature #1:
If you have read this far, you might be wandering what the title of this post has to do with the conditions that make me say, "I won't buy your books if..." Simply, I am making a conscious decision not to purchase the books of writers who make disparaging remarks about English teachers, particularly MS and HS teachers.
This morning I read a blog post on The Nerdy Book Club blog in which an author confessed that she was a reluctant reader during her adolescence and for most of her twenties. Here's what she said about the cause of her reluctance:
My reluctance was born at the typical time: about middle-school, and more seriously in high school, when required reading became part of my vocabulary. . . .I didn’t like any of the books I was reading (and also, I was very busy trying to be cool). Confession time: I cheated and watched the movie instead of reading the book more than once. Sorry, teachers…