Project Proposal

My proposal:
I am planning to create a series of skits. I will use my classmates (you!) as my high school English class. I was originally planing on assigning you roles, maybe giving people different races or genders, but I was afraid it would turn into that #likeagirl commercial.... So everyone will be themselves as they were in high school.

I will have a variety of different things to accomplish (maybe five different scenarios) and I will do each of them poorly and then try to improve. I don't mean that as a "bad teacher" I would be intentionally racist or derogatory or anything like that--I mean that I just wouldn't provide the richest learning environment for all the students in a diverse classroom. I am looking for specific methods and best practices that educators can use to encourage their students to self-actualize. Since I am dealing with adolescents, this is their time to really find their place in the wider world and race/ethnicity plays a role in how they perceive themselves and how others perceive them. Teachers fortunate enough to work in diverse classrooms know all of our students have a lot to share--the trick is getting them to find the best way to express themselves.

My materials (so far) include articles I have read from English Journal that deal with multi-cultural English classrooms. I am currently reading a book entitled This is Not a Test--A New Narrative on Race, Class and Education, written by a teacher in Washington Heights, NY. Esquith and Owens are other authors I have read that deal with practical teaching methods in multi-cultural settings. These sources will guide my skit production.

For the website, I don't really want to tape the skits, but I would be interested in creating a "new teacher's guide to teaching English in a diverse classroom". It would be more a pamphlet on things teachers can put into practice immediately rather than a more theoretical discussion about race relations. Teachers are busy people and everyone is telling us what we are doing wrong--I would like to glean some of the best ideas from the research and share it with other writing teachers.

Looking forward to reading the other proposals.

Some Ideas I Have for Our Class

I was feeling a bit ambiguous in which direction I wanted to go in terms of research project and class structure. I originally wanted to investigate Latin American identity through a historical perspective. But realizing that most of the students (including myself) want to do a website for our final class project, I feel that the typical research paper and Powerpoint presentation would be a bit dull for such an innovative class. 

Therefore, I want to try to bring these ideas of Latin American thinkers to life. One way I thought about doing this was through my desire to make an animated film. I think animation is a powerful way to convey a message to people. Matter of fact, check out this animated video to the left which is on power so that you guys can get an idea of what I would like to do.

I have never done this before and I'm pretty sure I don't have the technology to do this. Perhaps this can be a group project. If anybody has any suggestions or would like to collaborate, please let me know.