It was a simple tweet. I posted a picture from the second day of school, showing my own annotations of a C.S. Lewis essay with the caption, “Teaching students annotation means modeling my own.” To my surprise, author Stephen Chiger responded that he taught the same, most notably in his book Love & Literacy published in 2021 for Uncommon Schools, a public charter network in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
Intrigued, I wanted to see if a design to foster reading and literacy in urban public schools might share some practices with classical education. The premise of the book is a true ideal: “This is what love in a literacy classroom looks like: a love for the conversation, love for the text, and love for the ideas they both spark. When that includes all students, magic happens.” I kept reading.