Student Identities in the Classroom

When reading “Teaching Literature to Adolescents” and thinking . about the identities that can be thrust upon a student, or the box they are often put in I kept returning to this passage:

“The intent is to bring to the surface the individual and cultural strengths that can support a child in school. Importantly, students are seen and understood within contexts that shape their worlds and the meanings they make of those worlds. Rather than viewing the student and family through a deficit and pathological lens-how do we fix this learner or this family- the focus is to create a vital sense of and caring connection to contexts in which all of us transact” (pg 25)

Educators and schools seem to get caught up in what deficits a student has and how can we “fix” that, when what we really should be doing is being supportive and adapting our literature and texts to better form a dialogue to recognize the difference within a class. Literature is a reflection of human condition, we find ourselves here. A successful teacher knows this and works to choose content that doesn’t reflect the ‘box’ students are put in but reflects their changing and growing identities and differences.


My team is teaching our intercession on The Poetry of Rap, a major topic will be gender and the Female MC



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