Friday, September 25, 2009

Facet #3: Apply!

Now that we've covered #'s 1 and 2, we move on to #3: Apply. Before we discuss this concept, I feel it is important to see its definition in its entirety (a trend that will probably continue through out my blogging about the Six Facets). As per

To make use of as relevant, suitable, or pertinent

For me, this is a significant facet to cover as what will really draw your students into academia is its relevance to the world around them. My personal career goals will more than likely have me teaching in the inner-city amongst poverty stricken youth. My students will come from a world full of violence, abuse, broken families, poverty, and struggle. Very few of them will jump at the chance at reading Lord Byron's "Don Juan" or Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse despite those texts literary significance. Realistically very few will care about anything that doesn't relate directly to their lives.

With that said, I would bridge those texts with other literary works that spoke more directly to their experiences. If I were managing a course that was made up predominantly of lower income Latina/o students, I would definitely use a text like Luis Rodriguez's Always Running to introduce the concept that literature can be applied to their everyday lives. With that story revolving around Luis' own experiences as a troubled youth in what was then the gang-infested San Gabriel Valley, it can definitely serve as a good introductory piece for my students to actively apply what they read with their world.

Since many of our students will come into the classroom with the idea that reading is irrelevant to their existence, it would be of extreme benefit for a future teacher to establish early on how that simply is not true. Only then can students know how to truly apply what they read to their own lives.

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