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Coach Suiter’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Union City High School
  • Union City, TN
  • Half of students from low‑income households

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I am shocked to learn of the growing numbers of poverty-stricken children in our country. Couple this with an obvious cultural and language barrier many students show up with, and it is easy to see why educating all students on a “level playing field” is such a daunting task. The family dynamic is much different than the one I grew up in, and it is continuing to change daily. Because of these changes, educational practices and materials must also change to maintain a level of developmentally appropriateness for all students. Many people feel a sense of uniqueness; however, the truth of the matter is that we, as humans, are more similar than most realize. Cultural diversity, or differences between established subgroups, is as important in education as the source material we educators cling so tightly to and hang our test scores or other such accomplishments on. The “majority” of learners are not necessarily white Anglo-Saxon males simply because that is the prevailing make-up of our lawmakers and policy writers. I, as a high school literature teacher, must do a better job finding literature which will appeal to all cultures. Our school system gives the English department near-autonomy in selecting literary pieces to be used in the classroom. Our English department discusses trying to include various cultural groups including, but not limited to ethnicity and gender; we even strive to teach pieces from a variety of time periods. However, I know I can do better. I do understand the importance for students to see themselves represented positively and to see that others are just like them. This classroom library will allow me to introduce timely and relevant literature to all students, regardless of the limits from our previous classroom text.

About my class

I am shocked to learn of the growing numbers of poverty-stricken children in our country. Couple this with an obvious cultural and language barrier many students show up with, and it is easy to see why educating all students on a “level playing field” is such a daunting task. The family dynamic is much different than the one I grew up in, and it is continuing to change daily. Because of these changes, educational practices and materials must also change to maintain a level of developmentally appropriateness for all students. Many people feel a sense of uniqueness; however, the truth of the matter is that we, as humans, are more similar than most realize. Cultural diversity, or differences between established subgroups, is as important in education as the source material we educators cling so tightly to and hang our test scores or other such accomplishments on. The “majority” of learners are not necessarily white Anglo-Saxon males simply because that is the prevailing make-up of our lawmakers and policy writers. I, as a high school literature teacher, must do a better job finding literature which will appeal to all cultures. Our school system gives the English department near-autonomy in selecting literary pieces to be used in the classroom. Our English department discusses trying to include various cultural groups including, but not limited to ethnicity and gender; we even strive to teach pieces from a variety of time periods. However, I know I can do better. I do understand the importance for students to see themselves represented positively and to see that others are just like them. This classroom library will allow me to introduce timely and relevant literature to all students, regardless of the limits from our previous classroom text.

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