In my classes that are always a mixed bag of ability and grade levels, I strive to teach my students to self- advocate, to speak with authority, and to push back against everything in their comfortable, modernized lives that tells them apathy is the safest bet. Hopefully, my love of literature translates and I teach them to find amazement, beauty, and value in well-crafted words, too.
These ‘lessons’ come in small, manageable doses in the context of a classroom, but the ultimate goal is that these lessons are applicable outside the classroom. In this way, I can help my students stand on their own again, or perhaps, for the very first time, as so many of our students enroll in our program with injured or broken spirits.
In my classroom, through my own enthusiasm about life, learning, and literature and through setting manageable expectations for each and every student, I can, with the help of the Village community, teach my students to feel a sense of self-worth when the walls of Village are no longer there to help hold them up.