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Ms. Johnson’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Focus Learning Academy-W Columbus
  • Columbus, OH
  • Nearly all students from low‑income households

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In the past, my students have approached me with two major concerns about their own learning: the curriculum determined by our school board is not challenging or relevant enough to them; they want to be able to have opportunities for more traditional classroom activities such as discussion, simulations, or creative options. My response was to create a "book club" of sorts with the students who routinely attend class. Students loved this option. We could have "real" conversations and they could genuinely be heard by their peers and a validating adult. They obviously crave the validation of reading stories that they can find personal connections with. There's just one problem: our literal closet-sized library. From what I can tell, books have mainly come via donation or from the shelves of previous staff members. This means we lack class sets. Our novels are essentially the castaways of other libraries and garage sales. My students deserve and demand better. They need a variety of materials so they can explore their relationships with each other and the world. They need to be prepared to analyze their own roles in their communities, why these are significant, and how to change them -- and it is my intent that these books will provide just that. These books provide rich opportunities to explore universal themes, forge new connections, and prepare themselves for a world beyond the classroom.

About my class

In the past, my students have approached me with two major concerns about their own learning: the curriculum determined by our school board is not challenging or relevant enough to them; they want to be able to have opportunities for more traditional classroom activities such as discussion, simulations, or creative options. My response was to create a "book club" of sorts with the students who routinely attend class. Students loved this option. We could have "real" conversations and they could genuinely be heard by their peers and a validating adult. They obviously crave the validation of reading stories that they can find personal connections with. There's just one problem: our literal closet-sized library. From what I can tell, books have mainly come via donation or from the shelves of previous staff members. This means we lack class sets. Our novels are essentially the castaways of other libraries and garage sales. My students deserve and demand better. They need a variety of materials so they can explore their relationships with each other and the world. They need to be prepared to analyze their own roles in their communities, why these are significant, and how to change them -- and it is my intent that these books will provide just that. These books provide rich opportunities to explore universal themes, forge new connections, and prepare themselves for a world beyond the classroom.

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About my class

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