#SOL15 March Challenge Day 30 – What do you believe?

Kylene Beers


If you are not familiar with Kylene please go to her own blog and read “About” her!

Kylene and Bob Probst are universally known for their 6 signposts for fiction from Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading. Their new book with nonfiction signposts will be out in October and those signposts are listed here.


As a speaker, Kylene is witty, charming, and down to earth.  Her closing at the Teachers College paralleled her beliefs posted on her blog in March here.  Kylene urged the thousands of teachers packed into the Nave at Riverside Church to examine their own belief systems.


“What do you believe?”

How would we know?

What do you stand for?

You need to have these conversations!

That question, coupled with this statement have been swirling in my brain for the last day and a half, and quite literally will not let go:

Literacy is the 21st century skill.


not technology.


Not reading separated out.


Not writing separated out.


because of its role in power and privilege.


because of its role in history.


because of its role in history for minorities.


because of its role in history for women.


because of its role in history for the poor and downtrodden.

What are your beliefs?

How do we know?


Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

18 responses

  1. I have been in sessions with Kylene Beers several times and I’m looking forward to seeing her again in June. She is so engaging! Her message is always powerful. I believe that literacy in all its forms is vital to our society. I believe that the perpetual testing erodes the passion for literacy in everyone.

    1. Where will you be seeing Kylene? So true “literacy in all its forms is vital to our society and perpetual testing erodes the passion for literacy in everyone!

  2. I have never heard Kylene Beers speak, but I know others who have. All say how powerful and inspiring she is. Hopefully one day I will get the chance to hear her first hand.

    1. Kylene speaks from the heart of a teacher and that is so obvious in both her speaking and in her writing. She’s worth seeing “live” and in person!

  3. What a powerful statement Fran. I believe in educators like you. So thankful for your voice and beliefs.

    1. Thanks, Julieanne. You and Dayna did such a great job of describing our day yesterday that I was still puzzling over my content for this post until, DUH, that puzzle with these questions was the post.

      Safe travels and enjoy your Spring Break!

  4. Seeing so many others write their “This I Believe ” posts has me thinking about this too. Some big ideas for me include student voice and choice, but there is more to it than that. One day I will write it down. It is quite a profession we have chosen:)

    1. Erika, I also believe student voice and choice are important. Right now it sounds/feels like create a list and then consolidate and winnow it down! More thinking required!

  5. Great post, Fran. Thank you for linking Kylene’s post–I just read it. While I love grilled cheese and tomato soup, I REALLY loved her other belief statements about literacy and children’s rights to education. Thank you also for the reminder to make sure that we can always articulate what we believe.

    1. Oh, Melanie, you are so spot on! Our beliefs sustain us in times of trouble and I fear that budgets, assessments and politics have way too much control over education!

  6. I heard Kylene but I loved reading your post today, two days later. It so briliantly synthesized her points and took me back to sitting in the church so crowded with teachers. And you are right – I need to keep reflecting about what I believe.. I do believe in literacy and NOT just reading and NOT just writing. I also think my belief involves TALK and being able to read things we VIEW. What else? I’ll keep pondering.

    1. Sally – great start! Yes to viewing, Talking and listening. I’m not sure how to put “responding to” or “building upon ideas / theories of others” whether artwork, written, verbal, etc.

      Great conversation started here! Thank you!

  7. Awesome – your post brought back that closing speech, which I loved.

    1. Kylene’s speech was really about empowering ourselves and our students! So critical for the 21st century! ❤

  8. […] post outlines much of her keynote’s high points. Many have blogged about it. Check out Fran, Tara and […]

  9. You make so many important points, Fran. Literacy is the underpinning of everything we do. It is, as you say the key to power and privilege. It is something we must ensure everyone can possess.

  10. Fran,
    I am still stumbling about great pieces by Slice of Lofe participants. I love this. Thanks for the “signposts.” I especially loved your message about literacy. We have been working to connect our literacy framework to digital literacy to help teachers begin to shift toward literacies of today’s world. What we keep coming back to is it’s LITERACY. Thanks for sharing,


    1. Cathy,
      So true! So much inspiration from all the slicers! This picture almost felt like cheating – but the sentiment is so true!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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