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Ms. Hill’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Eastern Heights Elementary School
  • Saint Paul, MN
  • More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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Since my first year teaching, I began to notice that much of the literature offered to our youngest learners strongly lacks diversity of any kind, including culture, family structure, and ability level. As a kindergarten teacher in an inner city school, I dream of having a library that sparks and excites learning for each and every student in my classroom. Students need both "window" and "mirror" opportunities. Books that act as a "mirror" are those where students can see themselves and their lives and culture reflected. Books that act as a "window" help expose kids to cultural groups and experiences that are different from their own, supporting their connection and understanding of others. Through "window" and "mirror" opportunities, students are able to build connections with the literature that they see and read in their classrooms. In multicultural literature, students are able to find their voice, build cultural understanding, feel self-affirmation and empowerment, challenge popular stereotypes and celebrate diversity and a love of literature. Providing "window" and "mirror" opportunities is important to my own teaching practice because as a teacher, it is my job to connect with every student. If I am able to connect their cultures and values with their academics, my students will have a more positive and enriching school journey. While the short-term benefits are powerful, this change would hopefully show the greatest benefit long-term when the students grow up to become active members of society. They will learn to spread their knowledge and love of diversity throughout our society. By providing diverse classroom literature, we are helping to raise our future citizens and leaders by supporting them to utilize the strength and enlightenment that comes with diversity.

About my class

Since my first year teaching, I began to notice that much of the literature offered to our youngest learners strongly lacks diversity of any kind, including culture, family structure, and ability level. As a kindergarten teacher in an inner city school, I dream of having a library that sparks and excites learning for each and every student in my classroom. Students need both "window" and "mirror" opportunities. Books that act as a "mirror" are those where students can see themselves and their lives and culture reflected. Books that act as a "window" help expose kids to cultural groups and experiences that are different from their own, supporting their connection and understanding of others. Through "window" and "mirror" opportunities, students are able to build connections with the literature that they see and read in their classrooms. In multicultural literature, students are able to find their voice, build cultural understanding, feel self-affirmation and empowerment, challenge popular stereotypes and celebrate diversity and a love of literature. Providing "window" and "mirror" opportunities is important to my own teaching practice because as a teacher, it is my job to connect with every student. If I am able to connect their cultures and values with their academics, my students will have a more positive and enriching school journey. While the short-term benefits are powerful, this change would hopefully show the greatest benefit long-term when the students grow up to become active members of society. They will learn to spread their knowledge and love of diversity throughout our society. By providing diverse classroom literature, we are helping to raise our future citizens and leaders by supporting them to utilize the strength and enlightenment that comes with diversity.

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