I teach 10th grade English and AP Language and Composition in St. Paul, Minnesota, and my classes are a reflection of our city’s diverse population. My co-taught English classes include a mix of special education and English-learners who are mainstreamed into a grade-level high school English class. Over 50% of my students speak a language other than English at home, including Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Karen. Some of these students are recent immigrants who are taking multiple high school English classes in order to improve their language skills and graduate on time. Over half of my students also come from families who live in poverty, and purchasing basic school supplies places a financial burden on them.
My students amaze me with their positive attitude, determination, resilience, and ability to overcome obstacles.
My students bring unique talents and diverse perspectives to our class discussions. Many of these students need additional modeling and support to help them access the curriculum and meet the standards. Every day, we work on developing our skills as readers, writers, critical thinkers, and speakers. Our goal is to develop these skills so that students can apply them both in and out of school.
I have requested four sets of books on social justice issues for use in all of my classes. My sophomores and juniors will examine current social justice topics beginning with these books. Students will engage in peer discussion, issue analysis, and research projects related to the social justice issues from their chosen book.
We will explore inequalities in America in order to educate ourselves, develop empathy, investigate ways to make a difference in our world, and develop global citizens.
Students will meet in book groups to explore and discuss these issues and examine the role race places in our global society.
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