The students of CMS in Lakewood, CO are a beautiful representation of what makes Colorado the culturally-diverse and burgeoning state it has become over the last several years. Our students travel to our school from all over Lakewood, bringing with them truths from different states, different cultures, and different experiences. As young six-graders, it is our roles as educators to unlock those experiences and provide students with the space to share, learn, and grow with each other.
Within any given class, students will encounter peers from all walks of life.
Our school serves general education, as well as differently-abled students, students of color, students on free/reduced lunch, and students learning a second language. With all of these students converging in one classroom, a teacher's job is to facilitate the amazing discussion and learning potential that students offer.
The 6th graders at CMS are waking up to a world of conflict, complication, and division. It's evident in our students that they are nervous and unsure about where their lives will take them. As middle school educators, we hold a unique responsibility to prepare our students with the tools to navigate this challenging world, but also to build empathy, understanding, and love for those that are different from us.
With this selection of books, I hope to instil concepts of empathy, equity, love, and respect between students in my classroom.
I have selected a range of books, detailing experiences from students of color, students with housing insecurities, students of recent immigrants, and more. The books range in levels from 3rd and 4th-grade levels, up to 7th and 8th-grade levels, to accommodate different readers' strengths and readiness level, and ensure no student--no matter their reading skills--is left behind or left out.
As a dedicated social justice educator, there is no greater passion and mission of mine than to ensure students leave my classroom with a deeper understanding of students who are different.
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