Tag Archives: Student Choice

The Hate U Give: A Great Companion to Citizen: An American Lyric

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Navigating two worlds and a young life full of tragedy, Starr Carter drops into your view in that headline moment, at a party that is broken up due to a gun shot. While the obvious binary conflict of Power vs Oppression occurs in the moments after the party, when Starr and Khalil flee the party in his car, the less-than-visible conflict of Appearance vs Reality brings Starr’s different lives together. Will Starr have the strength to become one whole person?

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, but I must confess that at one point I felt like Thomas gave Starr too many problems to overcome and this somewhat slowed down the pacing of the novel. After completion, I changed my mind and I realized that the issues in the book, and in our country, are so complex that no one can fully realize the ramifications of one interaction. Obviously, if you are unwilling to have an open conversation of the black/white divide that continues to create conflict, then this book is not for you. Likewise, if reading about drugs, alcohol, and language that typical teenagers use, then don’t read this book. However, if you want to read a well-written book that depicts real problems and real feelings, then READ IT NOW! One of the most enjoyable aspects of Thomas’ writing is her realistic dialogue that allows you to feel like you are actually sitting in the car. For example, when Starr is in the park playing basketball with her brother, she ends up speaking for the first time to one of the neighborhood gang members with whom one of her friends acts ridiculous over, Starr says, “Yeah, I’ve heard about you. And you may wanna get some chapstick if your lips that dry, since you’re licking them so much” (147). This illustration reveals that if Starr can speak her mind to a known gang member, she may have the strength to be honest with herself and everyone else in her life.

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Self Reflection: How am I Creating a Student Centered Classroom?

Is it because I’m an SDC teacher that I have sweat-inducing, heart-stopping, nightmare-inspiring thoughts whenever I consider releasing control to the students in the classroom?  Or is this a common, yet-named teacher illness that should have its own label as defined by the American Psychiatric Association in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders?  Regardless of the answers to the above questions, it has always been my experience that when I release control (and dive into the abyss of unknown outcomes), the results are always better than anything I could have planned.  As I rewatched a Ted Talk from a few years ago (I’ll post it at the end of the blog), I wondered how I consistently try to create a student-centered classroom.

Continue reading Self Reflection: How am I Creating a Student Centered Classroom?

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