Help me give my students a diverse set of classroom library books like Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes, Women Who Changed the World, and other books that reflects who they are and their own identity, culture, and heritage.
As a first year teacher, I have had he most incredible year with my students for the 2018-2019 school year yet. I knew going into this job that my students would come from a low-income, high English language learner, high poverty district, and they are faced with challenges everyday. Since meeting them they have changed my life for the better. I see how a student who looks like they are struggling on the outside is only in need of some love and attention to help their true shelf shine. When they come to my classroom, I want the chance to help them develop even more into a community of learners who are academically proficient, demonstrate strong character and exhibit self-confidence.
Some of my students earliest memories are of them leaving what they knew in their home lands to travel to America, often without all of their family members, and sometimes even without their own parents. I have students who have very recent memories of family members being deported, or they themselves having to find their way in their new country, America. School is often an escape for my students, but after spending a whole year with them it is also somewhere they feel comfortable to share their stories and they want to remember their previous countries and homes. This is why my students need a library in our classroom that reflects who they are and their own identity, culture, heritage, and ethnicity.
The books I have selected feature diverse characters that reflect the very diverse student body that I teach.
It is important that students see themselves in the books they read. It is vital that people that look like them and from cultures like theirs are in the books they read. Representation matters more than I can stress. The selection of books I have picked are from many award winning lists that feature people of all backgrounds racially, socioeconomically, and religiously that are the champions of the story, not just present in the plot-line.
I am also in need of these books so all my students can be culturally sensitive to their classmates of different backgrounds and experiences. I am hoping that these books will show these students what some of their classmates have to go through until they are ready to talk about it publicly. I am getting my students ready for hard conversations and the lives they will live in their new homes.
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