Most of the students at my school have made a conscientious decision to stay in school or return to school when there were many odds against their school success. Many of my kids are parents themselves or provide parental support to their younger siblings. Some provide financial support to their parents and most work after school, some of them overnight. Many have dropped out of school previously, when life circumstances compromised their living situation, availability or transportation, and consequently their ability to focus on school. Some have political asylum because they fled violence in their homes and live far from their families now.
My students are survivors and they certainly embody resilience.
They are persistent. They show up to school in spite of a host of challenging circumstances. They continue to disprove the stereotypes and narratives that others have written about them. I believe they deserve to read engaging stories in which they seen their own struggles and identities reflected.
The young readers' version of Yousafzai's text will provide an accessible but still challenging anchor text to familiarize my students with Yousafzai's activism.
We will use "I am Malala" as an anchor text in our unit on young people making change across the globe or leading resistance against oppressive systems that affect them and their communities.
We will use her text to push our thinking about how young people can become agents of change. In this unit, we will take what we learn from Yousafzai's struggle to think about systems within our own communities that we have the ability to disrupt or change.
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