It’s a bit of a celebration here at Vamos a Leer as today marks our 500th post!! It’s been a great three and a half years. We’re incredibly grateful for all of you who read, comment on, and share our Vamos a Leer resources. It’s been wonderful getting to know this online community!
It seems fitting that for today’s En la Clase I’m sharing a book that comes from one of my absolute favorite organizations for teaching resources: Rethinking Schools. While it was Paulo Freire’s work that introduced me to the powerful potential of education, Rethinking Schools radically changed the way I taught. Their teaching resources empowered both me and my students through concrete representations of critical pedagogy that humanize the teaching and learning processes. Last spring we were lucky enough to get to host three Rethinking Schools editors for a day-long conference at the University of New Mexico. Bill Bigelow, Linda Christensen, and Wayne Au led panel discussions and workshops along side some of our College of Education faculty. Months later I still hear our local teachers and teacher education students referencing things they learned from that conference.
Today, I want to share with you one of Rethinking Schools’ most recent publications, Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice, edited by Linda Christensen and Dyan Watson. If you’re unfamiliar with the book, it “offers practical lessons about how to teach poetry to build community, understand literature and history, talk back to injustice, and construct stronger literacy skills across content areas and grade levels—from elementary school to graduate school. Rhythm and Resistance reclaims poetry as a necessary part of a larger vision of what it means to teach for justice” (taken from the book’s back cover). While many of us may be familiar with Christensen’s lesson plan on “Where I’m From” Poetry, this book provides an entire year’s worth of such engaging lessons that go way beyond the haiku, rhyming poems, or sonnets we often ask our students to write. Continue reading