My kids started this year with a series of substitutes for almost a month before I was hired. As a result, they’ve suffered through a fragmented, aimless class in a room with empty walls, overbright, hospital-like lights, and a single, empty bookcase. My students are bright, creative, and delightfully funny teenages who are excited and willing to finally dig into their English class. As a first-year teacher, I am still building my resources and at a school serving lower-income communities, it is absolutely essential to provide my students with engaging, diverse books that they may not have access to at home.
My goal is to give my students a classroom library overflowing with high-interest, relevant, and challenging books; stories they can see themselves and their lives reflected in, that showcase their interests and passions, that help them realize they are not alone and that reading is one other way of connecting to the world.
Providing my students with a classroom library bursting with awesome, diverse young adult literature ensures that they will remain engaged in reading and all the benefits that spark from it. I want my students to hear the voices of Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Angie Thomas as well as so many others because these authors speak in a language young adults understand.
Students deserve to see themselves, their struggles, and their dreams reflected in the books they read and building this classroom library will go a long way in helping each one of them experience that kind of connection.
With so many different books at their fingertips, my students will be able to participate in book clubs, explore difficult themes through fiction, and grow their literacy and language learning through accessible, engaging stories.
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