My students were hard at work in Reading, explaining why they had picked text evidence for a passage. I had upped the ante and this was challenging, and for some, frustrating. We'd talked about the need to step back from the text to evaluate what we were thinking, to understand why we'd picked certain citations and why they were the best choice to answer the question; all of this, it was hard stuff to do.
And then a student asked, "Why do we have to do this? Will we ever do this in real life?" For a moment, I was stunned.
And then, I answered, "Of course!" Every time you explain something to someone else, you'll have to dig deeply to understand it. Every time you read and can explain: a medical diagnosis, a bank loan, a college acceptance letter, a home inspection report, a Bible passage, an engineer's survey, a politician's promise....
Each of these is hard, and the better you can explain it to someone else, the more value you have. Good explainers get promoted because other people understand them. When you help others understand the world we live in, people value you.
The poor student hadn't expected that for my answer! And honestly, I was a bit surprised about how passionately I felt. No, I wasn't teaching them to respond to a TDA on a state test. This was a life skill, and they needed to be good at it!
So I created this poster (free here) thanks to a student's honest question.