I don’t have them, to be honest at 33 years old and finally graduating with a BA, who am I to walk into any classroom and tell anyone how they should do anything and approach life? Interestingly enough however, I believe I can. There comes a point that we all reach, a specific age and point in time where one feels they are simply running out of time; I have reached that point, and each day passed is a day lost. I am unsure of which classroom I will be walking into as an educator, either at the secondary level, community college, or if all goes well, even the university level. Regardless of which, I have already conceived an agenda, academically based of course.
In preparation for the credential and student teaching aspect of the educational program, multiple literacies and methods of engagement are what most come to mind. The very act of differentiating instruction including media by web, blog, video, audio, art, newsprint, magazine, and all various forms are not only mean to further drive those that are fully motivated but also to reach those that are not; those that are apathetic due to environment of family dynamics. The purpose of including multiple texts, including world texts from various cultures and time periods is meant to do the very same. Broadening the literary canon does not deter from the importance or recognition of the classics. By including works from other time periods and cultures, you as an educator again, are able to further develop students who are motivated, and introduce them and broaden their perspectives, while also reaching, engaging and also motivating those that otherwise would sit in the back of the room and draw. The very essence of including various works of various walks of life is to expose students to the struggles that most cultures share, even if the culture is different. This is because fundamentally, as humans, we share the same desires: love, family, safety, stability.
Then of course there are the cultural and socio-economic and political implications of texts, which interestingly the school districts at the secondary level caution educators from engaging in. Therefore there is a very fine line of engaging with literacy and what effects students as they become responsible members of society, and also some level of conformity while depriving them of the learned responsibility to engage in their economic and political culture. If the student’s school has old text books, why not write the superintendent, if the neighborhood needs crosswalks or stop signs installed—why not write street services or city hall; if their education is threatened by the mishandling of a state budget, why not activate them in a productive and academic manner by engaging with their state senate? Are these not matter that effect them directly, and do they not learn to be reactive instead of proactive in the very political sphere, which them imbeds a sense of apathy since these same students feel incapable of impacting their society.
Indeed it is our responsibility as educators to reach every student through multiple literacies and differentiated instruction, it is our further responsibility to expose them to multiple genres and global texts in order fro them to recognize that every culture has basic inter-cultural concerns that transcend ethnicity, religion, class and so on. It is our responsibility as educators most of all, to develop students’ personal voice, to develop the confidence in themselves; that although it is a singular voice, it commands knowledge and authority as a participating member of this society, and not family, friend or politician can deny them this power.
Educators do not teach, they reveal inner strength and they inspire.
Please view @ 5:37