September 27: I teach young men who are incarcerated. They are middle and high school students and aren’t typically good students or careful writers. We started the unit two weeks ago, and we’ve had some amazing conversations. The boys are sharing personal stories and being much more mindful about how they interact with each other. The writing is a bit of a struggle for them but they are doing it and enjoying the opportunity to share their thoughts. A national organization that works with students and teachers in alternative settings are sponsoring a song writing contest next month dealing with social justice as the topic of the songs. It couldn’t have come at a better time. My students are combining lessons from that program and the writings and discussions from the social justice project to really get an in-depth look at the issues. Thanks so much for what you do.
Update February 24: We are currently reading a book called Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. My reluctant writers are writing poetry every day and still including topics we discussed months ago during our Social Justice unit in their writing. I couldn’t be happier with the unit or with the chance to share our story.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my Master’s of Education in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.