Happy Birthday, Literacy In Place!

Photo by spemone on Pexels.com

Yesterday, I realized that today is the one year anniversary of announcing the launch of Literacy In Place! 

I’m not usually one for quantitative data, but here are some numbers. Since the launch, LIP has clocked: 

  • 2,429 visitors

What does this mean?

Quite frankly, I’m not sure I know what sense to make of it. I usually feel like no matter how well I’m doing, I’m not doing enough. So, in some ways I’m programmed to be disappointed that I haven’t reached all of the 20% or so rural folks living in the United States.

With that said, when I started this, I wasn’t sure if anyone at all would be interested in its content or find it helpful, so from that angle, 5,721 views isn’t half bad. 

It also indicates to me that I still have a significant amount of learning to do when it comes to promoting and getting the word out about the site. I’m constantly thinking about how I can make it a space more at the center of an online rural community of teachers, students, administrators, and rural folks more generally. 

If any of y’all have thoughts on this, I’d most certainly love to hear ‘em. 

This experience; the discomfort of the learning curve; and not getting tons of feedback has me thinking a lot about what authentic learning is and looks like. How it’s uncomfortable, and how powerful it is to be okay with failure or when things don’t progress the way you think they should. Because English was my jam in school, it was sometimes hard for me to understand the experiences of my students who didn’t love it or feel as successful in it as I did. 

And even still now for my preservice teachers. Learning how to teach is hard because it never stops. You never get everything right even though the world tells you that you should. That mistakes are bad and teachers can’t make them and still be good at their jobs. 

I feel like that’s a bit of a tangent, but I’m leaving it because it’s important.

No matter what the numbers say, I’ve met so many amazing rural authors and readers and talked with so many teachers and teacher educators about the importance of authentic representation of rural stories. I’ve learned so much from the connections I’ve made!

So, it’s been a good year, and I’m hopeful some of the views and visits saw good rural books make it to the hands of rural readers. 

Thanks to all y’all for your support, encouragement, and for being here with me on this journey. 

Spread the word to your rural and nonrural ELA teachers alike (because authentic rural stories belong in urban and suburban spaces too), and with any luck, we’ll see some more growth in year two!

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