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In this time of tension and transition, educators face uncertain expectations for reaching and teaching students. We worry about their literacy learning, as well as their physical and mental health, without having ways to check in on them. As caring and conscientious adults, we too are worried about our own families, friends, and communities, all while trying to remain focused and productive in a time of pandemic pedagogy. 

This era of staying home and staying safe in Michigan (and around the world) is forcing us to think about what is most important, in our own lives and for our students. While we still don’t know exactly what changes will occur in our classrooms and communities for the 2020-21 school year, there are questions, concerns, and challenges that exist today, and will continue to unfold in the weeks, months, and years to come. 

For the fall 2020 issue of the Michigan Reading Journal, we invite all our normal forms of submission (including Bridging Research and Practice, Critical Issues, and Book Reviews), and are especially interested in Voices from the Region submissions. In these reflective pieces (apx 750-2500 words) — where we welcome more personal (rather than academic) pieces, we invite authors to consider writing that address the following:

  • Trauma informed teaching: In what ways are students and teachers being affected by the COVID-19 crisis now? What might the long-term effects be? What changes will we need to make in our classrooms, schools, and communities? 
  • Socioemotional learning: After weeks (or months) of social distancing, what norms and routines might we need to establish in our classrooms, both face-to-face and virtual? What emotional and mental health needs will we need to attend to as part of our teaching practice? 
  • Remote learning: Whether we are primarily in face-to-face settings or fully online, the shift to virtual education — if it hadn’t already begun — is now fully underway. What plans are in place in your classroom, school, and district in relation to the use of technology for supporting learning? How are issues of equity and access being addressed, so all students can be connected to high-leverage learning opportunities? 
  • Staying connected: What systems of support have you and your colleagues put in place for your students, and for yourselves? What technology tools, regularly-scheduled events, and protocols for working together, both synchronously and asynchronously, have emerged for you in this time of crisis? 
  • Documenting the moment: We are experiencing an historic moment, one which we may be able to better understand in retrospect. How are you documenting your experiences? How might we use narrative, poetry, or journal writing to tell the story of this time, to help us deepen our own understanding of our experiences? What are the imagined futures for our students, schools, and society? 

Soon, we will be accepting submissions via our new online journal system, coordinated with Scholarworks at GVSU. For now, we welcome inquiries and submissions through our email: mrj@cmich.edu

If you have an inquiry or idea you would like to discuss, please reach out by May 1, 2020. 

Final deadline for submissions: July 15, 2020