The session I presented at NCTE this fall (with Sabina Khan, Kate Messner, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Jen Petro-Roy, and Renée Watson) was entitled Brave Conversations: Sharing Stories that Empower Student Voices in the Real World. As I prepared to share my perspective on teaching with books that invite students to ponder
We were only partway through the questions I wanted to ask when a student first asked, "Can we do this more often? I miss having these kinds of conversations."
Little did she know that her appeal fit like a puzzle piece to an idea that had been smoldering in my head for months. It was time to take a chance.
In the next few weeks I would: share the idea with my principal (and get her blessing), purchase the equipment, approach the students' parents, and eventually, invite the four students themselves to this brand-new project. Would they like to make a podcast with me where we would read books like a book club would and then record our thinking to share?
Can We Talk About This? Podcast.
|A quick selfie before recording S1, E1: The Seventh Wish. The readers felt|
strongly that a Kate Messner title should be their first, and this one
narrowly edged out Breakout because of our community-wide read.
They are really excited about the way this first episode of the Can We Talk About This? Podcast has turned out. I am proud of them, and I also know this is just the beginning. Their work will continue to develop with more episodes and the feedback we receive. You can listen to our first episode on anchor.fm now, and we hope you'll let us know what you think.
After the opportunity to engage with my students a few years ago, a friend asked me, "How can you amplify your students' voices?" I still think about that challenge, often. I hope the Can We Talk About This? Podcast will be one answer to that challenge. Though this is only the first episode of the first season, it is my hope that these young people will inspire other young people and that the podcast will grow. More reading and more talk would be very good things.