I have been teaching in a Title I school near Seattle, WA for the past 7 years. My third grade students are curious, thoughtful, silly, and creative small humans. This group of kiddos are particularly drawn to storytelling, whether it's a class read aloud, reading with their 5th grade buddies, or retelling their favorite new joke for perhaps the hundredth time, they seem to get lost in the world being presented to them.
Getting to spend so much of our time together creates an incredible sense of community, care, and drive for them to thrive both academically and personally.
Although this job is never easy, I am grateful every day to have the opportunity to welcome all my students with compassion as we learn more about the world, our community, each other, and ourselves.
Access to quality literature is vital to every classroom. My library is currently a hodgepodge of hand-me-down books from generous colleagues and goodwill finds through the years. It it desperately in need of an update that not only captures the imagination and attention of my budding readers, but that connects to them on a personal level as well. Our Title I school is incredibly diverse and represents a wide range of races, religions, countries of origin, and experiences. Most of my students speak more than one language including Spanish, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Punjabi. I need a classroom library that captures the range of experiences my students have!
These rich and diverse texts will not only pique the interest of my growing readers, but also help build students' self esteem, acceptance, community, and compassion.
Picture books are accessible to all readers, simultaneously drawing students in with inspiring art and storytelling. These books will help students see people and experiences familiar to them, as well as introduce them to the cultures and backgrounds of their peers. This is a wonderful way of starting conversations about such big topics as inequity, immigration and refugees, and discrimination. In reading and sharing stories that capture the diversity of the human experience, students can continue to learn more about themselves, their peers, and the complicated and connected world in which they are growing up.
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