Top Social

Raising Books For High School Students in Oakcliff

Friday, July 24, 2015
Hey everyone!

It's been a while since I last posted something more than a promo post - for good reason. The past seven weeks, I have been at teacher camp. This past January, I received and accepted an offer to join Teach For America. Teach For America is an organization that builds leaders out of teachers and places them in low-income neighborhoods to create transformational change in students' lives. As my teacher coach eloquently puts it, we are an army united in the fight against educational inequity. This fall, I will be starting my fight in Oakcliff as a Dallas ISD teacher.

A picture of me and my HS ELAR team

The reason that I am here is because I've had great teachers that encouraged me to follow my passions, and I want to do the same for the next generation. (That's the short of it; the rest is for another post.)

My vision as a teacher is to create a classroom culture in which my students feel empowered to speak up and share their stories. I want them to know that their opinions, and they themselves, are valued and that they have the power to pursue their dreams. I want them to know that they aren't in the classroom just to pass a test or to listen to their teacher preach. More than that, they are here to receive an education that will positively influence their lives outside of the classroom and empower them in their everyday lives.

One of the ways I plan to bring this vision to fruition is to promote a classroom culture that encourages students to read. Many, if not most, of my students will be coming into my class at a sixth grade reading level. My goal is to graduate them from my class with two years of reading growth.

In order to help them grow as readers, I want to create a classroom library. While I have some books that I can bring to my class, I've given away a lot of my books, and I don't have many duplicates. I want to create a classroom library for students to check out books (this doesn't require duplicates), but I also want to create classroom sets of books for students to read in groups. My vision is to hold a reading circle time once a week during which students read in groups of 5-6 students. Each group will read a different book, allowing students freedom to choose to read a book that interests them. A book that they consider relevant and relatable. I will have questions prepared ahead of time that they can discuss in their groups.

Some books that I'm interested in creating classroom sets of:
  1. Divergent by Veronic Roth
  2. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  5. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  6. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
  7. Books from this list

If you have any teen reads that you would be willing to donate (and they do not have to be from this list - I'm open to recommendations for my classroom library!), please send me an email. I appreciate any contribution you can make. If you have classroom supplies, book/inspirational quotes posters, or anything else that might help, I am also in need of those. Book swag is also appreciated as prizes for when students do well in class - again, I want to build a classroom culture that encourages students to read.

If you don't have any books or book swag to donate, or if you want to contribute further, I've created a Go Fund Me page for my classroom. You can also read more about my vision and goals for my students there. I would appreciate it if you shared this page - and this blog post - with your friends!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I appreciate y'all so much for following my blog and for all you do to make the world a better place. This blog, and the lives of the people that you touch, wouldn't be the same without you!

Post Comment
Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting. We love hearing from readers! To receive notifications of replies to your comments, just click “Notify me” in the bottom right corner of the comment box to subscribe to the thread! :)