I teach in an urban, diverse school of 3,000+ students in the heart of Central New York. A typical classroom can have students from Myanmar, Somalia, Bosnia, and Belarus learning side-by-side with students who have never left the state. It makes for quite an interesting teaching and learning experience!
Our school is, even by our state's own calculations, drastically underfunded.
We are a refugee relocation city, and many of our students are the sons and daughters of newly arrived immigrants. Built for 2,000 students, our school is incredibly overcrowded. Teachers share classrooms, students share textbooks, and space is at a premium. Students often do not have access to even the most basic of learning materials, and teachers either pay for it out of their own pockets or the students go without. Even still, it is my goal to make my classroom a safe and versatile space where students can reach their fullest potential!
Our community is not immune to social justice concerns. There were three shootings in twelve hours in our neighborhood. The quartet of prisons in our neighborhood is the number one employer in the area. Many of my students' families moved here from elsewhere in the state because they wanted to be closer to a relative who is imprisoned locally.
My students will start the school year at home in a time where fear of illness and fear of racism are their primary concerns.
This is not okay! Help me teach my students that their black lives matter by getting copies of Just Mercy for my whole class.
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