Readers of This Textbook

Students Who Read This Textbook

To students who are assigned to read chapters from this textbook, please consider the following advice for getting the most from it. This book is intended to provide you with some of the knowledge you will need to become an effective teacher. It is certainly not the only source of knowledge you will need but is meant to serve as an important foundation to ease the learning of content you will encounter in other courses and at your field placements. It is also meant to inform your future teaching, so it is important to read the information and think about it in reference to your teaching rather than just reading it to get an assignment out of the way. Students may also be tempted to think about literacy as being only related to reading and writing, and therefore, only associated with English language arts and English classes, but as argued previously, literacy is much broader than this and permeates every single subject taught in schools. Approaching this book with a broad view of literacy as it relates to making meaning across all school experiences will help prevent readers who may be planning to teach subjects within the domains of science, math, physical education, social studies, and the arts from mistakenly assuming that literacy teaching is not relevant to their practice.

And remember, if you are planning to become a teacher, preparing to teach is not accomplished by simply taking a series of required courses and electives at a college or university. You are making a career choice, and to be successful in a career, you must develop a commitment to preparing for it, not only by participating meaningfully in your college courses but by constantly evaluating your progress toward professional goals, and seeking additional experiences in areas where you need to learn more. When you begin working toward becoming a teacher, rather than just trying to meet course expectations, remember to keep your focus on how to develop the skills you need to help students learn from what you do.

To Teacher Educators Who Use This Textbook

To teacher educators who plan to use this book in their classes, please consider the following advice to get the most from it. You may wish to assign one, many, or all of the chapters according to your instructional goals and objectives. Each chapter was designed to fit together with the other chapters but was also written to stand alone on the topics addressed. Because the book is published as a freely accessible e-book with Open SUNY and a Creative Commons 4.0 license, you can use chapters freely that will benefit your students, without worrying about how the cost of the book will impact your selection of other course-related resources.

Also note that each chapter has clear objectives, self-assessments, and ideas for activities that can be completed in or out of the classroom to help students gain further knowledge about the teaching and learning of literacy. Consider incorporating some of these activities into your syllabus so that students are actively engaged not only in doing the readings but also using what is learned to make instructional decisions for the children and adolescents whom they will encounter in educational field placements and when they enter the field of education. In addition, links to websites and references included in each of the chapters may be valuable for your students to explore more fully, depending on your course objectives.