I teach 10th grade English in Houston's East End neighborhood. My campus is Title I and the majority of my students are Latino, African-American and Vietnamese. East End is a vibrant diverse community with a rich culture.
Impossible is nothing to my kids.
Last August, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Eastern Texas. As a tropical storm, Harvey poured over 50 inches of rain in the Houston area over the span of a few days. The storm completely devastated the nations 3rd largest city. As a result, Houston Independent School district, the largest district in the state of Texas, has been operating with a significantly smaller budget.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and despite the many personal challenges that they face, my students come to school full of life and ready to learn. They challenge me to keep things simple, fun, rigorous and engaging each day.
In a neighborhood facing gentrification, and change, Sierra Santiago, an Afro-Latino teenager finds her voice, and power. Everyday my students are asked to read, analyze, and write about worlds and realities that neither reflect nor affirm their existence. Shadowshapers is a novel where my students can see themselves and connect to the material.
My students deserve the chance to picture themselves as powerful heroes.
During our current political climate my students thirst for positive depictions of Latino culture. Using Shadowshapers and an anchor text, it is my goal is to instill a passion and love for reading in my students.
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