frank smith, en fin

Although there is no way my paltry three posts will cover the impact (or convey the importance) that I think this book has, I thought I would end my ramblings on it for the time being. I can't wait to see how it informs my teaching this year.

A few quotes from the text are now copied into my journal. The first is:
Meanings do not lie at the surface of language but far more profoundly in the minds of the users of language: in the mind of the speaker or writer and in the mind of the listener or reader.
I love this quote. So often in teaching we, in our effort to communicate some "greater" point, forget the richness that students bring to the text themselves. In fact, most of the greatest learning in a classroom happens when the students themselves wrestle with the text and its meaning, not when the teacher is speaking. It is the interaction between reader and text, an interaction that stretches back to the intentions of the writer but is, in the end, divorced from it, that creates the worlds that enthrall generations. This quote, to me, resonates with the reality of reading, it is a solitary act of imagination. I wonder what it would mean to someone else?

In the end, this last quote of Smith's is the one that will go up in my classroom and hopefully spark discussions, interpretations, and thoughtful reading and learning. What is it? Quite simply it is that:

Readers have power