My students represent the gamut of diversity. They are economically, ethnically, religiously, and academically diverse. But they are all so amazing. They break down the boundaries that would divide them from one another or hinder them from their dreams every single day. Many of them live very challenging lives at home. Yet they still come to school and press on towards a better future and a better tomorrow.
It is really an understatement to say that they live difficult lives.
Many of these students are full-time high school students, involved in clubs and organizations, working jobs to help support their families or their futures, and have a vast array of responsibilities at home while their parents work hard to make ends meet. Yet, my students rise to the occasion over and over. They continually impress me. We have seen students go from government housing to ivy leagues, and I want to continue that trend.
In our test-heavy environment, students must develop reading stamina. The only way for them to become better readers is for them to read and to read often. One of the challenges of this is having a library that entices these students to pick up a book and read it. Many of these students have so much going on in their day to day lives that they simply don't have the desire to pick up another book about another character that does not look like them or face the challenges they face. My desire is to expand my library so that this is not an issue they face.
When students see themselves in characters, they can become immersed in the literature.
Reading immersively is how falling in love with reading occurs. My greatest desire is that every student that passes through my room would love reading just a little bit more. I hope that they desire to read for themselves not because it is assigned. I hope that they will pick up books and read when they leave here. As they grow as readers, I want them to get beyond longing to see themselves in books and wanting to understand others who are not like them. Because reading is essential to the development of empathy, this diverse library will help that as well.
Further, I want teens to see that no matter what they look like, they can write. They have to write on a regular basis due to testing, but I want them to see what writing can be. How they can create stories, gather facts, or illustrate truths that the world will be better for possessing.
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