The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I love being challenged... no, seriously.

So, I am doing the unit where my Honors students are reading different books in literature circle groups on issues about tolerance, and then they are creating proposals to give at other international studies schools for suggesting this book as mainstream curriculum.

One group is reading a book called Does My Head Look Big in This about a young Muslim girl in Australia who decides to start wearing the hijab and faces a lot of struggles as a result.

I got the following email from them today:
Hi Mrs. Mohr,
The group and I were talking about the book and why it should be in the curriculum and we actually came up with multiple reasons why it shouldn't:
1. It's more of a book for girls, and it won't be of interest to all students (mainly guys).
2. Although it does have some points about prejudice, it doesn't really educate the reader about why it is wrong or anything.
3. The book is mainly about girls drama and boys, with the hijab mentioned in some parts, which makes for an interesting read, but probably not the best curriculum.
4. We all agreed it was a very good book, but didn't find something to gain from reading it.

So, we were wondering if there is an alternative project we can do? Or should we still try to use this book for our presentation, even though we don't really think it is a great choice?

I was THRILLED! What better example of critical thinking than students who don't take what I say at face value, and end up deciding that the book is NOT a good option for mainstream curriculum at an international studies school? This truly shows that they are able to evaluate independently and think for themselves!

Ah.... it feels good. This email made my day.

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