As each year passes by, it becomes more difficult to meet students that embody the "goal-getter" spirit. I'm sad to say that this year's middle school graduating class is the last bunch with the vision to do more than just graduate high school. Through books like To Kill a Mockingbird and short stories by Langston Hughes, I've made my students see that their world is a larger part of an overall picture. I can't force them to love reading, but I can definitely welcome them to join me on our reading adventures to discover humanity through a character's point of view and to examine the same themes that apply to our lives.
I believe that opening their eyes to a "good book" will remind them that succumbing to mediocry will only deny them of greater opportunities in the world.
They come from all backgrounds and the term "family" is one that they are proud of because of how much love they've encountered from their first day of attending the school; whether it was kindergarden or sixth grade. I would love to have one more chance to discuss issues pertinent to them and discovering a piece of their identity together.
My project is very simple. If granted this gift, I will gift wrap each book individually and distribute to students in time for Christmas. I will express my gratitute to my students for their love of learning and ensure that I do my best as their ELA teacher to take them through The Pigman's themes through an engaging, rigorous, but most importantly, life-learning approach, where they will see that although they're only 8th graders, they'll be treated as the responsible citizens of society that they were meant to be.
The world is full of people that live never telling how they feel or refusing to open their "rawness," in fear of exposing their vulnerability.
Then we have the Mr. Pignati's of the world that open their doors and allow us to be who we are.
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