I teach third grade in a highly-diverse Title I school. My students come from all around the world. Some of the countries represented in my classroom include; Ghana, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Honduras, Thailand, Laos, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Panama. Half of the students in my class are English Language Learners.
The students have become more like a family.
We spend a lot of time building a caring and inclusive classroom community which includes celebrating what makes each student unique. Despite the obstacles each student faces, they come in every day ready to learn and willing to work hard.
My students come from all over the world and more than 80% of them qualify for free or reduced lunch. Because of this, it is important for our students to see adults who are successful despite their background or beginnings in life. Every student at our school is placed into one of four houses: integrity, bravery, persistence, and friendship. We strive to instill these traits in our students and discuss them as often as we can.
"Boys Who Dare to Be Different" by Ben Brooks is a book that celebrates introverts and innovators, sensitivity and resilience, individuality and expression.
The book profiles 75 men from the past and present that broke rules and smashed stereotypes while helping the world become a better place.
We recently started a club for 3rd grade girls to embrace their diversity and physical uniqueness. After many discussions with boys in my class, it became clear that they don't struggle with their appearance as much, but do seem to have a hard time relating to the famous Americans highlighted in the curriculum. We thought that creating a club for boys, to be led by our male principal, would have a huge impact for our students. In this club, students will read through the book, be led in weekly discussions, and journal their thoughts, feelings, and goals.
Please help me to be intentional about teaching my students that their beginning does not dictate their end or their impact!
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