As 2017 comes to an end, I sit here reflecting on this year and I can't help but smile. Joy fills my heart!
Personal goal - I celebrate my growth as a reader. This year I became a passionate reader! I read several books for fun, new books for students' lessons, and professional books. This might not be a big deal for some but it is for me. I was a casual reader...reading because I had to, not because I wanted to.
Professional goal: Presented at TX Tesol 2017 convention and traveled to Germany with Go Global NC representing Cabarrus County.
However, as wonderful as this year was, I am looking forward to a New Year. I anticipate 2018 to be a year full of excitement. A year of new beginnings. A year of greatness. A year of growth and impact.
After reading Tara Martin's post on Fear Disguised as Humility (Humility is not pretending you are something you're not. Humility is not denying your God-given talents. Humility is being REAL), I decided to go big next year. I am shooting for the stars.
In Any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. ~ Abraham Maslow
I choose to step forward! I want to be GREAT! I am not being egocentric...I am being REAL!
After reading Lead Like a Pirate by Shelley Burgess and (@burgess_Shelley) and Beth Houf (@Bethhouf), I am confident and passionate about leading in my field.
So, because I know I want to be great, and because I want to make a difference in the ESL field...I can't help but think about and discover what my REAL purpose is. I know my purpose is to be an educator. No doubt about this. But there has to be more...and next year is all about finding it out.
My word for 2018 is Purpose because I want to be GREAT, I must fully understand what my purpose is. Just like the quote above...I know I'm a ship...but I must leave my comfort zone to be able to fulfill my intended purpose.
Perhaps I come back to this blog post next year and add to this post since right now it is not as clear as I would like it to be.
But as of now...PURPOSE is my #OneWord2018
If you want to share your #OneWord with me, share in the comments!
Happy 2018 and thank you for reading!
This post is featured on Confianza's website: Honoring Students' Stories: Identity Texts to Write and Diverse Texts to Read
We all know what a mirror is. We all have them and we all need them. Collins dictionary defines a mirror as a flat piece of glass which reflects light so that when you look at it you can see YOURSELF reflected in it.
Sometimes we like what we see, sometimes we don't. Perhaps you remember the mantra of Snow White's evil stepmother:
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?
This evil queen had a mirror that will always reflect what she wanted to see...but on many occasions, it revealed things she didn't want to see so she'd do something about it.
We can apply this same concept to books.
Books as mirrors is not a new concept. The idea that a book reflects readers' identity and experiences was presented to us a few years ago. The problem I see is the lack of access to diverse books for students to actually see themselves reflected in books. This is worrisome because "when children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about who they are devalued in the society of which they are a part of." (Read more) This is how the danger of a single story begins!
Considering Our Classroom Library
So now that we know how detrimental it is for our students to not see themselves reflected in text, our job is to make it tangible. Stand in front of your classroom bookshelf and ask:
The true meeting takes place when the book opens, and a stranger reads about — and comprehends — a stranger.
The books you choose as a mentor text for your lessons are very important as well. I understand that we have a standard we need to cover. However, there are books out there available for us to not only teach the necessary content but also validate and represent students sitting in our classrooms who long to be seen and understand for who they are.
Here you have a few resources to help you find diverse books to use as mentor texts:
This is my sixth year in the classroom; Every year I try different methods to make sure I have diverse books available for my ESL students. It is my responsibility to empower them with the tools to know that they matter. Perhaps, they'll be inspired to be the author of their own personal story because now they know that they are worth being the main character in a story.
This is our ESL classroom library with diverse books. Every day my students take a book home...I tell them that they can borrow a book but they get to keep the ideas...but if they keep my book...
I rather lose a book than a reader ~ Donalyn Miller
If you have any resources or ideas you'd like to share with me, please let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading!