Our scholars are amazing, resilient people. I teach in an inner-city middle school where the majority of students actively face poverty and trauma. Within this school, I serve as a special educator on the Integrated Co-Teaching Team, meaning that about half of our 90 students are also facing disabilities that impact their learning.
Despite many obstacles, including trauma, poverty, chromosomal differences, autism spectrum disorder, and learning disabilities, our students come to school each day and give their best.
They are creative, artistic, multisensory learners with many leadership capabilities, and I am honored to include you in their educational journey by inviting you to be a part of this special project I've decided to embark upon just for them.
My students would benefit from access to independent reading books with protagonists who defy stereotypes, including those often placed on kids by gender and ethnicity. These books would be placed in our independent reading library so students can self-select them and dig deeply into them by responding to them in their reading reflection journals. There are a wide variety of books here, including graphic novels, so that all my learners, including those with print based disabilities who love books with lots of pictures, would have access to rich, stereotype-defying characters.
We are working hard on tackling issues such as stereotype threat and acceptance, and these books present this value without being preachy or coming from an adult's voice.
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