Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Danger of a Single Story: Classroom Literature and Library Implications

I just had the pleasure of attending nErDcampmi on Monday and Tuesday this week.  If you've never been or haven't heard of it, it's a totally free 2 day conference focused on literacy, books, and all things reading.

To put it simply, it was amazing.

Monday, I got to hear Donalyn Miller, Laurie Halse Anderson, Cece Bell, Minh Le, and the day ended with a keynote address by Jason Reynolds, who is one of the most amazing storytellers you could ever hope to have the pleasure of listening to.  Here he is... using a story about Go-Go music to illustrate the power we have to make students feel valued, important, and as individuals.  (Also, if you haven't read his book Long Way Down, you need to.)

I went to a session with Jillian Heise and learned all about #classroombookaday and how to implement it, Dr. Christina Dorr on poverty to possibility, and sessions yesterday on diverse reads and helping students with their own identities.

It was an amazing conference and really stressed how important representation is in our classroom libraries and in the books that we choose to read in our classrooms.  I spent 14 years of my career teaching in rural schools where there wasn't much outward diversity.  Everyone, for the most part, looked like me.  Now, I'm in an urban setting with students from all types of backgrounds.  I worked hard last year to diversify my classroom texts, which needs continual growth... but I should have been doing that in my rural white school too!!!!! 

One video was referenced over and over- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk "The Danger of a Single Story".  So, when I got home last night, before I added books to my cart on Amazon for a rainy day, I looked up the video.  I watched it.  And knew I had to share it with you.  Maybe you're one of the over 18 million people who have already viewed this... I had never heard of it.

This is a MUST view for teachers.  And, not just a must view.  It's a must think and process about.  And illustrates the insane power that we have as teachers to shape our students' world views.

Please take a few minutes and watch.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Mark your calendars for February 1, 2020... nErDcampmi registration opens and seats fill up quickly!  It's a "do not miss" experience!


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