I teach in a Title I school, where most of my students have never traveled outside of the neighborhoods where they live. My classroom theme is Opportunity Airlines. In my 5th grade English and Language Arts class, students will travel the world and experience countries, cultures and lives unlike their own-- one page at a time.
I grew up like many of my students-- a multi racial minority, in a single parent home, below the poverty line. I was told as a child if I wanted to, I could travel anywhere in the world and learn about any topic I wanted. I could immerse myself in a different time and place and surround myself with characters that didn’t judge me for my skin or wallet. I got to peek into their lives and witness their successes and failures, hopes and dreams, and they inspired me to chase mine, to never let fear stop me from pursuing everything my heart desires. This is how I fell in love with reading. And when I could communicate my thoughts and feelings better than my peers and when I could empathize with strangers in a way that brought people together and when I realized doors opened for me because I had both knowledge and wisdom -- that’s when I realized the true power of reading- that it really was my ticket to anywhere.
This is my hope for my students.
I am transforming my classroom by using flexible seating to create an environment that allows students to make intentional choices that fit their unique learning needs and give them the opportunity to take ownership of their success. They deserve an environment that inspires them to discover not only a love of reading, but the intrinsic journey that reading and learning can take them on-- that opens their eyes and their minds to see an entire world that is available for them to conquer. I have purchased many flexible seating options already and a local office furniture company has donated several pieces. I have attached sketches of what my classroom will look like.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (September 2021)