The focus of today’s post is you, the readers of Teaching Tolkien. One of the benefits of this reading project is the opportunity my students have to interact with people outside of their school and community. They have greatly enjoyed the interaction from your supportive comments and your positive response to their work. It has been highly educational for them to learn about your countries as they’ve marked them on our classroom atlas and they ask me daily if we have picked up any new readers in uncharted territory.
Today I am appealing to all of you to have some input in the direction of our site. Teaching Tolkien was designed to be a resource for creating and sharing materials and methods for using the works of J.R.R. Tolkien in the classroom. It is also a place for Tolkien fans and readers alike to engage in discussions on the text, be reminded of the fresh perspectives that new and somewhat younger eyes may have on it, and assist in the process of passing on the joy of discovering Middle-Earth to a new generation.
I suppose that sounds a bit idealistic, but I truly do hope that this site, as it continues to grow within the Tolkien community, will break new ground and push the boundaries of classroom usage of Tolkien’s works. Today I’m giving you the opportunity to assist my students in some of their ground-breaking work as both young, struggling readers and second-language learners struggling with the additional burden of learning English.
My students would love to know what types of questions you have for them and what topics related to Lord of the Rings you would like them to focus on for future blog posts. We would love to hear from you and any ideas you have for potential detours on our journey. Teaching Tolkien has definitely been an unexpected journey for my students and me and we are glad to have companions from around the world along for the ride.