With over 3,400 students at our school, my students are as diverse as they come making our classroom the quintessential melting pot. With students from as far as Tonga to students to students who were born and raised in our city, their cultures run deep and are rich! They each have their own incredible qualities that help add to the amazing school and classroom that we are so lucky to be a part of every single day.
We attend school in a Title I district and most of my students have dealt with more trauma than one can imagine in a lifetime.
Yet, our community is tight knit and we take care of one another. Living in a Title I district in California means that these students often don’t have the same access to education as students just 10 miles away, such as having access to one-to-one technology or having internet at home. While there are computers at the school and the public library, the number of them and access to them are limited. Yet, these obstacles do not sway these amazing, resilient young adults from overcoming their obstacles in order to pursue and achieve their dreams.
Every Friday, I choose a new book from my classroom library and read the first chapter out loud to the class with the hope that I can entice them to pick up the book and finish it. This last Friday, I read the first chapter from "Dear Martin" by Nic Stone. Immediately following the reading, students asked if we could read the book in class next semester.
By providing my students with the chance to read about subjects that matter to them, we provide them with ability to unlock their voice which will assist them in finding their passions and developing their critical thinking skills.
Knowing how important it is for students to not only have a choice in what they read, but also a desire to read the text, I want to my students to be able to have access to books they find relevant and engaging. "Dear Martin" is a pertinent novel that my students can relate to that will be used in conjunction with "To Kill a Mockingbird" to have a real and open discussion about racism and to incorporate history.
By providing a classroom set to our classroom, my students will be able to not only connect with the novel and the central ideas behind it, but will be able to be truly engaged with it. I believe this will help them get a greater understanding of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and it will also allow the students to develop a love for reading that will grow with the more texts they get to choose and read in class while continuing to tie it to the classic texts.
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