An article in the New York Times highlighted the work of high school English teacher Brian Mooney, who uses the lens of “hip-hop ed” to engage students in the study of complex literary themes. A blog Mr. Mooney created to share his curriculum and student work caught the attention of a broader audience — rapper Kendrick Lamar visited the high school. Students from Mr. Mooney’s English class and the after-school poetry club performed spoken word poems and raps for Kendrick Lamar.
Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/09/nyregion/kendrick-lamar-rapper-who-inspired-a-teacher-visits-a-high-school-that-embraces-his-work.html
My (Yiola) first blog post of the year. Happy new year friends and readers. Over the course of the holidays I developed a list of interesting topics and ideas that I am excited to share here on the site. Just as I was about to select one of my ideas to share, a student teacher sent this video my way today and it took precedence. The messages may be imperfect yet the voices of children ~ of young adolescent women ~ make it so incredibly powerful for me. The energy and the passion and the inspiration rising from literacy make it a worthwhile share. The rhythm alluring, the tone inspiring, the messages thought-provoking, the effort immense. If literacy inspires young people to speak in such passionate ways about such timely issues, then I say BRING ON LITERACY TEACHING.
Several posts ago I shared an example of slam poetry. Slam poetry, for me, is alluring. It captures my attention. I have always found that with poetry, all kinds, there is passion, feeling, and emotion. It speaks to me. Slam poetry is raw and real and leaves little to the imagination. It shares the here and now of one’s experience and tells the story of one’s truth.
Here is a short clip of a young teacher who shares with us what he tells his students: tell your truth.
His 4 core principles (literacy related):
Tell you truth
This teacher speaks of classroom culture, modelling ways of thinking and being, and his experience as something worthy of words and sharing.
On the eve of a new school year, I want to wish all teachers, students, and teacher educators a year filled with passion for learning and inspiration. Teaching is not easy but when the fire for learning ignites in our students we know, as educators, that there is little more gratifying or rewarding.