Current Connection #2 ED100 – Ayanna Lyons

Ayanna Lyons

Dr. Shutkin

ED 100- Current Connection #2

March 7, 2022

The selected reading is called The New Teacher Book: Finding purpose, balance, and hope during your first years in the classroom pp. 26-49. There were multiple different stories within the assigned reading. The different stories were The Read Around: A Reading and Writing Strategy by Linda Christensen, Role Plays: Show, Don’t Tell by Bill Bigelow, From Theme and Evidence Wall into Essay by Linda Christensen, and Resources from Rethinking Schools. There were multiple themes presented in each of these readings. One theme that was presented was the idea of a positive classroom. In the reading, The Read Around: A Reading and Writing Strategy it states, “This strategy provides both the writing text for our classrooms and the social text where our lives intersect and we deepen our connections and understandings across lines of race, class, language, gender, sexual orientation and age” (Christensen Linda). There are some students who love to share their writing with others. Reading out loud for many students may not be something that is comfortable for them due to their past experiences. This is why it is important to build on one’s self-confidence to get them to the point where they are able to share with the class. Another theme presented in the reading Role Plays: Show, Don’t Tell is the importance of engagement in the classroom. The author was expressing how he is a first-year teacher and how his lectures are boring and long to the point where they put his students to sleep. At first, he couldn’t figure out why his students were not interested in his lectures. However, he was still determined to find a way to engage the students in class while still being able to teach. According to Role Plays: Show, Don’t Tell it says, “A good role play invites students to enter the personas of contemporary or historical social groups to learn about issues in their characters’ lives from the inside out” (Bigelow Bill). I think this is very important because it can give students an outlook from both perspectives. Also, giving students both perspectives is very crucial because everyone has different beliefs, experiences, and backgrounds. While students are role-playing, it allows for the students to really understand someone’s point of view before trying to react to their scene or part. Additionally, it allows students to be engaged in class while learning as well. Another theme similar to the theme mentioned above in the reading A Reading and Writing Strategy is the idea of community within the classroom presented in the readings From Theme and Evidence Wall into Essay and Resources from Rethinking Schools. This idea is shown in the reading From Theme and Evidence Wall by using a student-created ‘theme and evidence wall’ to help students begin writing their essays. This reading says, “More than any other activity, the theme wall claims the classroom as student space” (Christensen Linda). This is significant because the theme wall can create a community for students to feel welcomed and included within the classroom. Especially because the students in her classroom are encouraged to bring in stories of their own experiences for their essay. Also, students who missed class or are behind in class can go back and look at the theme wall as a map. The theme wall is a way for students to make the curriculum their own and for their learning to be collective. Creating a feeling of community within a classroom can be difficult to tackle especially if it’s very diverse. However, mentioned in the reading Resources from Rethinking Schools there are several resources that are available to incorporate within the classroom for students to bring a feeling of belonging to them. All of these readings are developed by teachers trying to establish a positive community and successful learning for their students. The point of view of these readings is the point of view of social justice teachers who really care about their students, not just working for the money. As you can see evident by the teachers trying to do something more for the students rather than just teaching out the books. My perspective on the topic and assessment of the reading is I believe that these teachers are doing a very good justice by striving to grow these students. Students deserve to get as much knowledge as they can from their teachers and what way to make it more enjoyable/ relatable to them? Keeping it engaging and creating a sense of community and comfortableness for everyone. The specific part in all of these readings that I decided to focus on is in the reading  Resources from Rethinking Schools, wherein the resource Teaching for Black Lives it talks about anti-Black racism constructs Black people and Blackness generally as not counting as human life. While also highlighting the hope and beauty of collective action and student activism. The current article that I chose to focus on in relation to this is called What Is Your Reaction to Efforts to Limit Teaching on Race in Schools?: student opinion by Engle Jeremy. This article discusses how parents in Virginia are against teachers having training on implicit bias. A quote from the reading What Is Your Reaction to Efforts to Limit Teaching on Race in Schools?: student opinion, says, “In Loudoun County, Va., a group of parents led by a former Trump appointee are pushing to recall school board members after the school district called for mandatory teacher training in “systemic oppression and implicit bias” (Jeremy Engle). This quote shows how this county is practicing anti-black racism. However, it also shows why it is important to highlight the hope and uniqueness of student activism and collective action. The reading Resources from Rethinking Schools in the Rethinking Multicultural Education: Teaching for Racial and Cultural Justice (2nd Edition) section states, “Moving beyond a simplistic focus on heroes and holidays, and foods and festivals, it demonstrates a powerful vision of anti-racist, social justice education” (Resources from Rethinking Schools). This connects to what’s happening in Virginia as right-leaning parents don’t want history to be taught more than a very simple inaccurate representation that caters to the comfort of whiteness. In other words, they don’t want teachers teaching students to be firm advocates against injustice. The resource Teaching for Black Lives relates to the current article because it shows how people’s identities and their history is presented. It connects to reality today because various republican legislators opposed this very thing. As far as teaching about race, history, and accurate history. 

Works Cited

Engle, Jeremy. “What Is Your Reaction to Efforts to Limit Teaching on Race in Schools?: student opinion.” Sep 20 2021. Web. ProQuest. 2 Mar. 2022.

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