Do you remember your high school years? Maybe, yes, you do -- because they were years of academic and personal growth. Maybe, no, you don't -- because those years were the epitome of academic and personal strife.
While I want the first to be true for all my students, it's impossible for me to ignore the academic and personal obstacles many of them face.
Food and housing insecurity, racial tension, cultural suppression and educational inequity are just a few of the major systems affecting my students' daily lives.
All 200 of my students students hold potential they've yet to realize. I teach the researchers, educators, health-providers, economic-drivers and community developers of the future. Though it's my job to equip students with the skills necessary to pursue their dreams, I also want to be part of the force which drives their actualization.
There's no truth like this one: supplying students with hard-copies of worksheets and readings shouldn't require sacrifice. It's my goal to provide students with current, culturally-relevant material in our ELA classroom as we develop reading and researching skills.
Although my students have access to laptops, they need access to print-outs to develop their skills as evidenced-based researchers and readers.
The ability to annotate texts and explicate meaning is essential to my students' passing their end-of-year assessments. As such, having access to a printer, ink and paper without school-issued, budget-restricted printing and copying.
The content and skill development go hand-in-hand -- especially when engagement and interest are at the center of a productive classroom.
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