Saturday, August 13, 2011

Midsummer Ennui?

I am enjoying my summer, no question. I am doing everything I said I would do:  relaxing, reading trashy books on my Kindle, going to the pool, visiting my mom, and sleeping late.  I went to Florida and came home with the Mother of all Sinus Infections and enjoyed the luxury of nursing it for a week with no thoughts of missing school.  That said, I think about school quite a bit and am looking forward to going back.  I never thought I would say that.

At the end of last school year, I reflected on the American literature that I taught.  My county gives me the flexibility to teach whatever literature I want, as long as I am teaching the skills and knowledge of literature necessary to pass the standardized test.  While there are many timeless works of American Lit that I personally love, that doesn’t mean that my students will love it, no matter how brilliantly I teach it.  This year my goal is to sift through all of my options and find exemplary literature that these kids can care about and connect with.  One book that I think meets all of these requirements is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.   There is quite a bit of buzz about the book right now because the movie just came out.  Set in Jackson, Mississippi as the roots of the Civil Rights Movement are just beginning to take shape, this is the  type of relatable, compelling and inspiring literature that I think my students need.

The challenge was getting copies of it.  Correctly assuming that it would be difficult to get the school to buy the books, I put the call out on Facebook hoping that friends who had already read the book would donate it rather than have it accumulate dust on their shelves.  I was beyond moved and delighted when two friends offered to buy enough copies for a classroom set.  Therefore I would like to give props to the following businesses and encourage you to check them out (tell them Miz Nilknarf sent you!).  Many thanks and much love to Gin and the Anderson Brockwell Agency and to Christine, travel agent magnifico, at Magical Mouse Plans.

And we’re off!!

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