Thursday, 28 July 2016

Whose voices are present in your classroom?

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better ~ Maya Angelou

I was inspired this summer, during a conversation with a friend, to examine the perspectives that are presented in the reading materials I put forward in my class.  To take a moment and consider the biases I intentionally or unintentionally bring into my classroom.  So many questions began to circle in my head.   Whose voices was I including? Were the voices of a variety of cultures being brought into the room?  Was I pushing my students to look at events from multiple lenses?  Was I doing enough to teach varied materials from around the world?  Could all my students identify with some of the materials presented in class?

I could not honestly say that I was presenting a good variety of voices.  I began looking through the books I have in my long range plans and made some changes.  I'm excited this year to explore the world with my French Immersion students from a variety of perspectives.

Here are a few of the books I will be examining with my students this year.

Le puits de l'espoir - Eric Walters
Moi, Malala - Malala Yousafzai et Patricia McCormick
Ici, c'est différent de là-bas - Naïma Oukerfellah
Wonder - R.J. Palacio

We will also examine different perspectives using current events and shorter texts from around the world.

My hope is by tracking the different areas of the world we examine with a world map on our classroom wall that I will be mindful to cover a great number of globally relevant materials with my students.

Do you have suggestions to add to my list?  Voices I should add?

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