My language arts students are creative, enthusiastic, and hard-working. I teach in a rural Pre-K-12 school and 45% of my students qualify for free or reduced-rate lunch. My middle school classes average around 19 students per section.
Books serve as both mirrors and windows for children.
Middle schoolers are at an age when they are desperately trying to find themselves and fit in. I want my students to find books in my classroom that they connect to, but also that give them insight into what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes. My hope is that a more diverse classroom library will help celebrate both differences and similarities which will help them navigate a diverse world. I'd also like to build up my library with books about change makers so my students can learn to make a difference with our activism unit.
Finding books that students feel represents them is important to me. I believe many students choose not to read because they feel disconnected from books. I’d like to add more current books to my library such as books that represent socioeconomic struggles, mental illness in families, addiction, ADHD, neurodiversity, LGBTQ issues, gender diversity, people of color, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
I want to increase the books I have for independent reading as well as the book club choices to include more diverse books.
Not only will new books increase engagement, but it will create more empathetic and informed students. I have used various tools to check my library for bias and have found holes in my book collection of different kinds of students I feel need representation.
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