I am a teacher in a high poverty school where my students face many challenges both in and out of the classroom. Despite the obstacles they face, my students enjoy school. School is their safe haven, it's the constant in their life.
All students deserve the same opportunities to become successful, competent readers!
Some of the students in my classroom come from homes where learning to read is not a top priority. Meeting the child's basic needs of food and shelter takes precedence. Many of the families I service do not speak English as their first language. My students typically do not live in homes filled with books. All students deserve the opportunity to be immersed in a learning environment where reading is valued and enjoyed.
I think it's important for students to have a wide variety of book choices during independent reading time. I think it's important for students to see themselves in books as well as recognize and appreciate the differences in others. Reading about characters both alike and different than us helps to build community and empathy.
We discuss seeing ourselves and others through both windows and mirrors.
Literature is an excellent means of communicating this message to our future generations. In order to accomplish this goal, I really try to keep newly published books circulating in my classroom to keep students excited about reading each day.
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