9 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2019
  2. Aug 2018
    1. pushed Black people out of our school’s community. These historical stories help students answer the opening question about Black wealth. While we are reading

      A Prayer for The City by Buzz Bissinger goes deep into this practice of redlining and gentrification and it's deeply rooted impacts on residents of color in the city. It's such an important perspective to understand when framing students' experience. "Disadvantaged" implies passivity, as if nothing can be done, it's just the luck of the draw, whereas deep dives into the genesis of these issues are critical.

    2. These kids just don’t want to learn” and “These kids don’t care about their education

      I think a lot of teachers become overwhelmed and frustrated when students aren't engaged in their lessons and throw their hands up and say things like this. Thinking back to my own experience as a student, I can remember 'not wanting' to learn math. But in retrospect, it wasn't that I didn't want to learn math, it's that I didn't want to fail at learning math. I didn't want to struggle. I just wanted to already know all the answers and skip the process. I 'didn't want to learn' because I didn't know how to learn math. But understanding how I worked as a student gives me more insight into how my students may see things and how to be a better teacher.

    3. “I didn’t realize that other people went through the same things we [African Americans] did.”

      I think that once students realize that families across cultures share experiences, this opens up all kinds of literature and stories. A book that might not have seemed interesting at first glance could have a really relevent theme, even if the main character is not someone the reader identifies with. Being able to indentify with people across cultures is crucial to being a caring person, as the author notes.

    4. The read-around is the living room of our classroom.

      How can this be done effectively in a classroom that has 35-40 students?

    5. Dirk and his classmates didn’t care just about themselves, their neighborhood, and their city, they cared about other people’s lives too.

      I bring this mentality into the classroom by trying to provide my students with texts that mirror their own lives but also open windows for them to look into the lives of others. Sometimes this just means framing an older, more "traditional" text in a modern context by pairing it with music, news articles, or other texts from today.

    6. How did this ‘gap’ happen?” I tell students that we are going to look at the housing history in Portland to help us understand those statistics. For me, this unit is critical because it talks back to the “disadvantaged” label that has been hanging around my school for the last forty years. In order to teach students effectively, I have to raise the curtain on the myths that control the narrative of our community:

      Deficits in education that are not properly rectified grow into massive debts over time. These deficits increase socioeconomic gaps linked to racial identity.

    7. I have to raise the curtain on the myths that control the narrative of our community: for example, that our predominantly African American Albina neighborhood was “bad” or “run down” before Whites moved in, or ignore the Black-owned businesses that lined the streets before urban renewal bulldozed them, or that imply that it takes White wealth and money to make a neighborhood “good.

      Is it possible to unlearn the "myths" or cultural stereotypes that are imposed on us within a school year? How do we continue to break free and be more than what society teaches us is normal or correct?

    8. It combines the reading and writing of poetry, fiction, essay, historical documents and statistics, lots of discussions, read-arounds, days of writing, responding, and revising of student work.

      When Christiansen structures her teaching around a big issue that is important to students lives it allows for a deep interdisciplinarity that I think a lot of teachers strive for in designing units, but don't know how to start. Start at the heart of things, not just focused on the individual skills/outcomes.