My students need books that reflect their own identities, experiences, and communities. The best way to reach them through literature is to provide books by authors who look like my students.
We are a neighborhood school on the west side of Chicago. Our student population is approximately 90% Hispanic and Latino and 8% African American, and nearly 100% are eligible for free or reduced price lunch.
People assume that because we are a neighborhood school, and not a magnet, selective enrollment, or charter school that we must struggle to keep our students in line and ready academically - they would be mistaken.
Our building is an oasis in the middle of what can be a chaotic and violent neighborhood. We have a 90% daily attendance rate, our freshmen on-track rate has been over 95% for the last three years, as has been our graduation rate. We are only one of a handful of neighborhood schools with a 1 rating in CPS, and the only one in our network.
Our students are the reason for these achievements. They drive us to be better teachers every day, and they deserve the same materials and opportunities provided to the wealthier schools in the city and the state. We will do everything in our power to make that happen.
In a recent blog post, Heinemann Fellow and educator, Tricia Ebavaria wrote, "Reading and writing can be powerful tools for agency and liberation, which is why making sure our practices are grounded in inclusion is so important. What do I mean by inclusive practices? Inclusive practices are those that guarantee the perspectives and contributions of all people—especially of diverse backgrounds who have been traditionally marginalized such as LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and people of color—are given equal recognition, attention, and care in all learning environments."
As a teacher of British Literature, it would be very easy for me to focus on the cannon and leave my students' identities and experiences outside of the curriculum, but I cannot do that.
Bringing literature that is reflective of my students' identities, lives, and experiences can do more for their success than any number of Shakespearean sonnets could ever do. If my goal is to empower my students and to show them they matter, I must integrate other voices into the classroom and the curriculum.
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|Culturally Responsive Teaching and The Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students • Amazon Business||$29.54||1||$29.54|
|The Hate U Give • Amazon Business||$11.39||2||$22.78|
|Best Paper Greetings Set of 100 Library Cards and Book Pockets - Library Pockets, Library Card Holder, Book Cards for Public Library Record Keeping, Tracking, Book Borrowing, White • Amazon Business||$17.99||1||$17.99|
|Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood • Amazon Business||$13.78||1||$13.78|
|Los Juegos del Hambre (Spanish Edition) • Amazon Business||$13.59||1||$13.59|
|I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter • Amazon Business||$12.59||1||$12.59|
|Rebound (The Crossover Series) • Amazon Business||$11.89||1||$11.89|
|Booked (The Crossover Series) • Amazon Business||$11.89||1||$11.89|
|Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha) • Amazon Business||$11.39||1||$11.39|
|Neymar The Wizard • Amazon Business||$10.99||1||$10.99|
|Bajo la misma estrella (The Fault in Our Stars) (Spanish Edition) • Amazon Business||$10.36||1||$10.36|
|En el país que amamos: Mi familia dividida (Spanish Edition) • Amazon Business||$9.60||1||$9.60|
|Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina • Amazon Business||$9.03||1||$9.03|
|Everything, Everything • Amazon Business||$8.79||1||$8.79|
|Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe • Amazon Business||$8.20||1||$8.20|
|One-Punch Man, Vol. 2 • Amazon Business||$7.99||1||$7.99|
|One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 • Amazon Business||$7.99||1||$7.99|
|Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina • Amazon Business||$7.99||1||$7.99|
|The Outsiders • Amazon Business||$7.59||1||$7.59|
|In the Country We Love: My Family Divided • Amazon Business||$7.49||1||$7.49|
|A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) • Amazon Business||$6.99||1||$6.99|
|Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda • Amazon Business||$6.69||1||$6.69|
|When I Was the Greatest • Amazon Business||$5.99||1||$5.99|
|The Boy in the Striped Pajamas • Amazon Business||$5.69||1||$5.69|
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