Author: Danielle Filipiak
Summary: This multi-generational dialogue explores the ways in which teachers can strengthen their classrooms’ connection to communities, neighborhoods, and other contexts that their students navigate.
Original Date of Publication: October 6, 2013
This discussion featured panelists: Tolu Olorundu, Nicole Mirra, and Joshua Nelson, each of whom talked about the ways they thought about generating stronger connections between classrooms and the community. The inter-generational dialogue that occurred was phenomenal in that it gave teachers an opportunity to witness how a discussion comprised of individuals from varying backgrounds might be held with care and respect. There are moments where the adults in the discussion, for instance, call upon Josh, who is less vocal in the conversation, to offer his perspective on the issues at hand. As a young adult, Josh offers a unique perspective that, while important, could have easily been overlooked had Tolu and Nicole spoken over him and did less prodding.
Some guiding questions related to teacher’s role as a connector and community member:
- What does it mean to be part of a school community? A neighborhood?
- How does a teacher connect content to the multiple contexts that students navigate? Why are these connections important?
- What kinds of relationships happen around this work and how are they built and maintained?
- How does a teacher make the connections between the classroom and the community more explicit?
- Understanding Community Literacies as Foundational to Teaching Excellence
- The Politics of Correction: How We Can Nurture Students in Their Writing and Help Them Learn the Language of Power
- Honoring the Word: Classroom Instructors Find That Students Respond Best to Oral Tradition
Original Source: The Current, http://thecurrent.educatorinnovator.org/resource/5691