I teach in an urban inner-city school rich with diversity. The diversity of my students is our biggest strength as well as one of our biggest challenges. My students come from many different areas and many were not born in Allentown. They reminisce of their time in New York City or Puerto Rico and bring those experiences into my classroom each day. These are kids who struggle with learning and are often behind their suburban middle-class peers. They are willing and able to learn, but the instability in their personal lives makes this challenging at times.
In my classroom, we work together to build a community of learners who not only respects each individual's past experiences, but also celebrates and brings those experiences into our culturally responsive learning environment.
It is paramount that these students feel respected and that their cultures and traditions are embedded in our curriculum each day. Everything I teach must be adapted to become relevant and engaging. Many of my students have not had the traditional "American" experiences that we all take for granted. Sharing stories about holiday gatherings or playing in our backyards each summer does not resonate with my students.
Over the past decade, technology has become the norm in classrooms all across America. Students have become experts in research and content creation. Technology has reinvigorated education and has helped to engage students in many new ways. This new way of learning should not be reserved for just suburban school districts.
My students deserve the opportunity to be the creators of their own content.
They are yearning for more opportunities for truly personalized learning that will help bridge the language barrier that many face each day. Please help replace my 6 year-old desktop computers with a class set of Chromebooks.
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