October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month (www.stopbullying.gov). PBS offers varied useful resources at The Bully Project. This is certainly a fine start, but bully-proofing is no simple task. Collapsing a bullying culture cannot be accomplished in a month or with a single campaign. Constant vigilance is required.
But sometimes teachers don’t see the bullying. Children report it, but when teachers then try to observe it, they see nothing. Shall we stop there? No. That will convey entirely the wrong message.
Coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), the Common Core State Standards have swept the nation; nearly every state has sanctioned the call for students to read more complex texts. In response, publishers are rapidly preparing more challenging texts, referring to the exemplars listed in Appendix B of the Standards, including works by Sophocles, Alexis de Tocqueville and Fyodor Dostoevsky. These types of texts will be Waterloo for some students, and the battle begins in kindergarten with a call to understand—and hopefully enjoy—As I was Going to St. Ives. How can teachers help readers meet this challenge? In part, the solution lies in developing metacognitive insights and abilities—including metalinguistic awareness.