I recently finished a graduate program in teaching (which is why you haven’t heard from me on the blog in awhile...) and will be graduating on June 16th with a Master in Teaching degree from Seattle University. One of the topics we covered was the desperate need in this country for a more inclusive, multicultural curriculum. As a white person, the need for representation in the curriculum was something I hadn’t had to think about before because my stories - or at least the stories of my white male ancestors - were represented in the curriculum, but in order to engage students (ALL students), they need to see themselves in the curriculum, they need to hear their stories and the stories of their ancestors.
How do we do that?
One of the things I have really been looking forward to about finishing this program (besides working with kids in schools) is the opportunity to read for pleasure again. I really miss picking up a good book and diving into another person’s world. As I perused my “to be read” stack, however, I noticed that most of the authors were white. As are most of the hosts on the podcasts I listen to. As are most of the stars on the television shows I have queued up to watch. And I realized that this needs to change. If I am going to be a good teacher to ALL my students, I need to broaden my own horizons and stop filling my life with “a single story.”
The focus of the Many Voices, Many Rooms Summer Reading Challenge is on widening my reading, watching and listening horizons to include a more diverse collection of voices. Here are the rules: 1) The challenge lasts from June 1 to September 1 (I started this last week); 2) During this time I will read books, watch movies and television shows, and listen to podcasts that center minority voices; 3) I will post an update once a week and share some of my favorites on my blog.
I am a week in so far and already have some great things to share. Check back next week for my first list of weekly favorites!