And Still We Rise
In this book the author Miles Corwin talks about students in a high school where it was even impossible or rare to get a high school diploma. However they were young men and young women who were against all odds and exposed to traumatizing and difficult lives who manage to succeed when people doubted them and aspired to attend top colleges in the country. The negative energy seems to work as a catalyst to propel them to keep going and create a desire for success. These students did not excel and triumph over their situations only because of their resilience but we meet teachers who help them along the way by going above and beyond to ensure their students succeeded. Danielle one of the students in the book who became the class valedictorian states, “But most importantly, we survived the scrutiny of our potential by the society that labeled us failures…” (p. 397)
Having a caring teacher and a classroom environment where children can feel a sense of belonging, cared for and are able to succeed is important in the teaching profession. For some students the classroom is the only caring environment they know. One of the teachers in the reading Mama Moultrie considered her students to be as her own children. “I want to thank Mrs. Moultrie … for showing us it’s our right and our duty to make a difference in our community.” Showing that some students will need more support than others (low socio economic status) and a special effort on the teacher’s part to go the extra mile goes a long way.
The thing that stood out for me is that regardless of what disadvantages these incredible students went through they learn and as teachers we need to practice social justice and believe that all children can learn. I like this book because it is inspiring and I would recommend it any day.