My students are terrific. We are from Tunica, Mississippi which is a very rural area. My students all receive 100% free lunch, which indicates that this is an area riddled with poverty. Most of the students live in low functioning, trailer homes with minimal food and parents who are in desperate search for adequate employment. The students love coming to school in hopes of a better life for themselves and their families.
Tina, which is not her real name, writes in her journal, "One thing I wish my teacher knew is that I have to work to help my mom pay the water and light bill.
So I go to school so that when I get older, I don't have to ask my kids for money." Many of my students haven't been outside of Tunica. They want to explore the world. So we do so with books. I choose to teach students in Tunica county because this is a critical needs area. I can teach anywhere else but Tunica and these students have my heart.
Books take people to places that they have never been. Books also relate to the various highs and lows that we have in our lives. Books are also entertaining and exciting. My students are reluctant readers. They do not usually read for entertainment, simply for testing. I want to expose my students to different genres and also books that relate to their lives.
By giving students interesting books and books with good themes, will encourage them to read more.
Most of my students are reading 2-4 levels below their 10th grade level. I know that they only way to read better is to read more! So if my students can have these books, we will do literature circles where we will share our thoughts and ideas, discuss the coming of age scenarios in the books as well as write essays that will help us on the upcoming state test.
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