My students need varied and diverse books that meet their interests. Graphic novels such as "The Sandman" and "Speak: The Graphic Novel" appeal to those students who need visual works to keep their interest.
I teach a wonderfully diverse mix of students ages 14 to 18 in our school's regular and co-lab English classes. My students work very hard at learning the basics of English and applying them in a way that will benefit them after high school. Many of them are expected to look after younger siblings or family members as well as keep up with their own learning. Despite this, they do their best to excel.
My students are bright kids who often struggle with reading and writing, yet show a passion for learning.
Each student comes in with a different set of goals and abilities that make them who they are. Using their abilities to the best of their advantage is sometimes a difficult task, but one that we take the time to figure out for each student.
Day after day my students show me what hard work, perseverance, and love looks like. While struggling to write a paper they do not like or read the next chapter in a class novel that doesn't interest them, or by asking the quiet student next to them if they are having a good day, they are an inspiration.
My students come from diverse and challenging backgrounds. Many of them do not like to read and have never found enjoyment in reading. Titles such as "Long Way Down" and "Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography" help my students know they are not alone in the world. These characters help them realize there is hope.
My goal as a high school English teacher is to help my students find their love of reading again, and continue to nurture it long past the day they graduate.
Keeping students interested in reading is difficult, but with graphic novels such as "The Sandman" and "Speak" I hope to awaken that desire to read.
Having a diverse library is key to keeping students engaged in reading. So many students do not know what they like to read, simply because they've not picked up a book for enjoyment since elementary school. With a varied selection of books in my classroom, my hope is that by offering choice reading, they can start down the path of reading for a lifetime.
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