The Medgar Evers College standard under Analytical Ability require teacher candidates to effectively and comprehensively deconstruct texts to uncover hidden meanings, to make connections, to draw inferences and to develop multiple perspectives toward various ideas and issues. The evidence I have chosen for this standard is a critical essay assignment given in my
English 209 (Introduction to the Children’s Literature) course. This course required students to read a list of children’s books that ranged from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. After reading a particular book, the class would engage in a discussion on the variety of ways in which teachers may incorporate the book into a series of lessons using a range of themes.However, this
particular assignment required each candidate to choose one chapter book and fully analyze the story by making connections to a particular issue related to the lives of young students.
One of my most favorite literary selections from this course was Zarah the by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, for it deals with the concept of change, friendship, courage, and overall the development of one’s identity. My choice in topic was "accepting one’s true identity despite judgment". By deconstructing this text, I was better able to comprehend the actual story itself in order to make connections between my topic and the message of the story.
As I fully analyzed the text, I began to develop multiple perspectives towards the various ideas and issues discussed. For example, my female perspective toward this text is that dealing with certain changes in emotional and physical growth can sometimes bring your self-esteem up or down, depending on how good or bad your experience was.
What I have learned most from this given assignment is that by seeing in between the lines of any given literary text, one is better able to understand and relate to any given issue. For example, Zarah the Windseeker gives children a better understanding of how to cope with specific situations, such as knowing the differences between a fact and an opinion about one’s self. Not only have I developed a better understanding of how to interpret hidden meanings within books, I have also gained a better sense of critical reading and writing techniques. As a teacher, one of my main goals would be to provide lifetime skills to all of my students in order for their future progress. Thus, I would strive to foster development in critical thinking and problem-solving skills through my teaching style by using an analytical approach to help my
students discover the answers to any given problem; as opposed to simply providing the answers to everything.