“Teaching is not filling up a pail, it is lighting a fire.” –William Butler Yeats
After watching the Ann Morgan’s “My year reading a book from every country in the world”, reading texts, and creating blog posts for my “Writing Diverse Cultures” course at Chapman University, I have made 5 goals to keep myself accountable with reading and writing diverse cultures and texts. While I do not have the time to make a goal like Morgan’s, I have made goals that are feasible for where I am in my life right now. The theme of my goals revolve around myself reading the world around me to better understand others, and to be educated in the texts I choose for my students to read. Being a future elementary educator, I take it personally to make my classroom a safe space full of diversity and diverse texts without tokenizing. I hope my goals will inspire you to do the same.
- I will start by sharing the book I read for project three with family and friends. The book was called Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir. I already have plans to share the book with my Aunt, so my first step will be giving her this book so she can read it. Additionally, I will write a post on this book on Amazon. I noticed it was difficult to find copies of this text, so maybe having more positive posts on the book will cause Amazon to have more copies available. I can accomplish this within two weeks from today.
- Next, I will make the conscious decision to chose diverse texts when choosing a book for a project or book for leisure. I will go to resources around me like “Book Pickings” because I enjoyed the blog layout. This is more of a long term goal; something to keep in mind when posed with an assignment, or looking for a new text to read for pleasure.
- One of my goals in the next 5 years is to become an elementary school teacher. I want my students to be around diverse texts because it is important for them to see themselves in texts. It is also important for students to read texts that depict people different than themselves. I want to integrate diverse texts into my classroom in a manner that does not tokenize diversity, but rather have diversity so abundant in my classroom and the literature I read, that it is something that is part of every life in our classroom. This is a goal for when I become a teacher, however, I am keeping a personal list of “Great Books” that I can use in my classroom. My goal is to continuously add to this list as new texts come to my attention.
- Do to current events, I want to read a book from the perspective of a person in war-ridden places like Syria and Afghanistan. I am curious the narrative of the people from these places, especially when there is a constant negative rhetoric around these people. Unfortunately, my schedule in the next year is going to be busier than ever, so my goal is to fit in this book sometime in the next year. Maybe I can find the time to read this text sooner during my next long plane ride, or
- Finally, I want to read a few texts from the places I plan on traveling in the next several years. I have plans to travel to Hawaii, Italy, France, and maybe even Germany. Before going to a new place, especially a foreign country, my goal is to read a text from the country or culture I am going to visit. I want to be educated, at least partially, from reading one text from that place. While I understand I cannot understand an entire country or culture from reading just one of their texts from, this is a more realistic goal for me and my busy schedule.
Now it is time to go take the first step, find my next book, read the next page, and light the fire.