Thursday, March 16, 2017

Teacher Empowers Her Class To"Push Through"

"Teaching my 3rd grade black and brown babies to #PushThrough today. Due to unwelcoming, unsettling, and uncomfortable election results, this was our lesson for the day."

"In Sub-Saharan African cultures, call and response is a pervasive pattern of democratic participation—in public gatherings in the discussion of civic affairs, in religious rituals, as well as in vocal and instrumental musical expression. It is this tradition that African bondsmen and women brought with them to the New World and which has been transmitted over the centuries in various forms of cultural expression—in religious observance; public gatherings; sporting events; even in children's rhymes; and, most notably, in African-American music in its myriad forms and descendants including: soul, gospel, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, funk and hip hop."   Wikipedia

In good times and stressful times our culture has used call and response as a way to communicate and teach.   Jasmyn Wright, a third-grade reading teacher in Philadelphia, is using this African American tradition to bring a message of hope, and empowerment to her third grade class.  Ms. Wright, a poet and spoken-word artist encourages her students to "push through" in the face of adversity.  

She uses both personal affirmations and the power of the spoken word to motivate the young people in her class. She sees her role as a catalyst to encourage her students talents and ambitions. "My students know who they are. I teach all of them every day that they are born with a gift"

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