This semester at El Camino High school I have been surprised by the literacy levels of my students. Many of my students have a high vocabulary, and are able to write well. When an essay was assigned in my class many of my students wrote excellent essays, and displayed advanced writing. However this is not the case for all of my students. Some of my students are not able to form basic sentences, yet have not been classified as English Learners, nor have IEP's.
Those students who have fallen behind academically seem to have fallen very far behind. There is far less of a middle ground than I expected. Many of my students seem to read well, or can barley read at all. This may be because those who achieve have mad that their identity, and those who fail have made that their identity as well.
My literacy classroom is filled with the posters of my favorite historical figures. The people that I consider heroes will be on full display in an attempt to influence my students to find out more. My students will be fully engaged in the struggles of the working people to escape oppression throughout history. My students will also be fully engaged in the present to see how the past has lead to the present. My students are reading A Peoples History of the United States by Howard Zinn. This book will change the lives of some of my students, as it changed my life. I will also recommend that my students read the works of freedom fighters, and thinkers on their free time. This will give the knowledge, and knowledge is power.
My literacy classroom looks much like it did in September. I would add historical heroes of some of my students to further inspire them. The would still be reading the same book for my class, and hopefully have read many other books to personally inspire them. They are writing about American history, and what events of the past most effect their present. They are discussing true issues of freedom, and democracy.
My literacy rich classroom still is covered with the heroes of the past. My students are still engaged in the past, and how events from the past effect today. My students are capable of independent learning in order to read and write a proper essay. I want them to be able to do research on their own so that it will be harder to fol them with faulty information in the future.