I started my journey to add young adult literature to my classroom when I finally ran out of patience for our outdated African American unit. The updates went so well, I’ve begun branching out into my other classes and units. I have found that young adult literature is especially great for engaging my at-risk students. Better yet though, it’s engaging for me. When I’m teaching more contemporary novels, I’m more thoughtful and engaged in my teaching.
I think a lot of high school teachers figure that independent reading isn’t necessary for older students, is too “baby-ish”, or is a waste of time among a jam-packed curriculum. This blog post isn’t to explain my rationale for independent reading with high school students. Rather, I want to share what it looks like in my classroom.