Required reading is often seen as the end to creative thought. After all, what do a bunch of old white men have to say that is relevant to todays society? As it turns out, a lot. I would have never thought to pick up and read F451, The Great Gatsby, or The Handmaids Tale without taking an AP English literature class my junior year of high school. The most important tool a reader can have is diversity in their selection of books. I believe that it is best to know a little bit about a lot of things, instead of knowing everything under the sun about one topic. I never cease to be surprised by how often I can mention a Classic to someone and surprise them with its relevancy to the world today.
I would highly recommend anyone hoping to pursue teaching English to read this article. It reminded me of a truth about required reading that is far too easily forgotten.
The topic of required reading in high schools often comes up for criticism and intense debate. Why must students all read the same books? Why must they all read those books (those old, musty classics by dead white men?) Isn’t reading supposed to be about enjoyment? the critics ask. Shouldn’t we be simply encouraging students […]