Our school is located in Tennessee with a large population of high poverty/low income. While this may be true, our students are rich in heart; I can say that this is especially true of the students I teach. I teach a diverse group of learners with varying learning, emotional, and cognitive disabilities.
A majority of the students I teach are eager to learn and improve their reading skills; therefore, they bring a distinguished work ethic and open mind to class everyday.
I have seen firsthand the growth of many of my students and the look of achievement on their faces that accompanies it. Overall, my students are the reason I get out of bed and come to school, not my love of content.
Often times, students do not read because they do not see themselves in any of the characters in classic literature. They quickly dismiss the books as boring and irrelevant to their lives. The characters in the novels such as Dear Martin, Dread Nation, and American Street would make reading relevant to my students. These novels will be used for literature units as well as independent silent reading in class.
By having books with relevant characters readily available in the classroom, students will see that reading can be a worthwhile activity.
This will then lead to them being more open to other texts in class. Additionally, this would establish a culture of literacy in my classroom.
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