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MemeTastic: The Lighter Side of a Literacy Crisis

Have I mentioned that I love a good education meme?

I’d say that laughter is my coping strategy for the hard stuff about working in K–12 education. I spend my days reading and sharing stats like this:

Poor readers sad research Twitter


And reflecting on our national struggle to raise reading outcomes (hat tip to the excellent “Hard Words” documentary):

NAEP scores Hanford

That chart hurts my heart.

So when I go to write about this stuff myself, in EduTwitter or in my recent blog post about the importance of closing our phonics gap, I find myself putting a meme on it. It’s my stress release.



This shouldn’t distract from the seriousness of the subjects. If anything, I hope it helps to shine a bright, light spotlight on the important subject, by catching the eye a bit. I mean, so much crap flies through my Twitter feed (I’m looking at you, ruthless overposters of inspirational quotes in #EduTwitter). I stop and look at the funny stuff… don’t we all?

We need to bring our most human selves to important work, and my most human self is passionate, geeky, authentic, and also a smartass. And my brain thinks in memes.

So when I share amazing journalism about the gap in phonics, you’re gonna get this:

Bob Ross phonics


When that article causes me to reflect on the state of teacher prep, this:

facepalm teaching college meme


When I’m talking with my Mom about phonics, and she drops this gem – “Teaching reading to first graders is rocket science, and systematic phonics instruction is just part of it” – I think:



Then when I’m inspired to write about our reading issues, you’re gonna get this:

side-eye chloe phonics


And this:



When I’m jazzed because teachers are buzzing in social media about the importance of phonics, thanks to the recent media attention:

prayer hands phonics


If any of this made you giggle, you’re welcome. It’s 2018, and we deserve some comic relief!

Now do me a solid and go share Emily Hanford’s astoundingly good documentary with the educators and parents in your midst.

Oh, and… go ahead and borrow these memes if you’re so inclined; they’re here for the taking! #SharingIsCaring

Let’s laugh a little as we learn our way to continuous improvement in service of kids.

Published inK–12 EducationLiteracyMemes

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