Not only is Karoline homeschooled, which affects the connection between her literacy habits and her home life, but she is a dyslexic student that struggles with reading speed and enjoying reading. However, I am inspired by Karoline’s ability to function maturely in an adult environment at her young age.
I hope that someday soon, I’ll return to my roots of living a life of natural literacy. I also hope that as a teacher, I won’t forsake my students’ existing literary agenda for one of my own making, and allow them to build and conquer that pile of “books-to-read,” outside of the demands from the cannon.
I want to give my students the same freedom to dive in and explore that I gained from Mrs. Mela’s TV Production class. I want them to discover new worlds and new stories, and to have space and resources to creatively respond to those experiences.
My goal in teaching is that students first gain self-sufficiency and independence through personal growth and self-awareness. In addition, I want students to develop empathy and an understanding of their contribution to society, to see the world with humanitarian eyes. Finally, students need to build strong writing, reading, and speaking skills in order to represent themselves well in a democratic society.
A quote from Alexandra K. Trenfor states: “The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” Through PBL, teachers are simply tour guides during a small chapter of a student’s life. They no longer need to be all-knowing and all-powerful.
I want my class to come out of a study on this chapter realizing how cultural isolation can manifest itself in things like fear, or prejudice. It is important to know that neighborhoods and people groups can gain false reputations because of a cultural gap, and that this is one of the main factors contributing to the importance of studying other cultures.