Table of Contents

  • Free Editorial

    Just Math

    By the editors of Rethinking Schools
  • Free Whose Community Is This?

    Mathematics of neighborhood displacement

    By Eric (Rico) Gutstein

    Students use advanced math to study gentrification, displacement, and foreclosure in their neighborhood.

  • Transparency of Water

    A workshop on math, water, and justice

    By Selene Gonzalez-Carillo, Martha Merson

    Community educators bring math into an intergenerational exploration of the environmental, political, and economic issues surrounding bottled versus tap water.

  • Free Beyond Marbles

    Percent change and social justice

    By Flannery Denny

    Middle school students analyze a classroom full of social justice issues, armed with their understanding of percent change.

  • Other Features
  • Free Responding to Tragedy

    2nd graders reach out to the Sikh community

    By Dale Weiss

    When a racist attack kills members of a local Sikh temple, a 2nd-grade teacher involves her students in a journey of connection and solidarity.

  • An Unfortunate Misunderstanding

    Saga of a promising new charter

    By Grace Gonzales

    Helping create an independent charter school seems like a dream job. But teachers, parents, and children soon confront all-too-familiar charter school woes.

  • Creative Conflict

    Collaborative playwriting

    By Kathleen Melville

    A high school drama teacher searches for ways to encourage students to write about their lives without replicating stereotypes.

  • “Hey, Mom, I Forgive You”

    Teaching the forgiveness poem

    By Linda Christensen

    An English teacher builds community as her students write a poem about forgiving or not forgiving. She starts with her own story.

  • A Pure Medley

    Poetry By Adeline Nieto
  • Free Paradise Lost

    Introducing students to climate change through story

    By Brady Bennon

    The film Paradise Lost - about the rising ocean that threatens Kiribati - proves an evocative introduction to a unit on climate change.

  • Departments Free
    Action Education
  • Seattle Test Boycott: Our Destination Is Not on the MAP

    By Jesse Hagopian
  • Good Stuff
  • Encounters

    By Herb Kohl
  • Resources
  • Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources.

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Preview of Article:

A Pure Medley

A Pure Medley
Favianna Rodriguez

In a class on culturally responsive teaching at Ithaca College, my professor, Jeff Claus, asked us to create poems of introduction. He was modeling how to use two of Linda Christensen's poetry lessons: Where I'm From: Inviting Students' Lives into the Classroom (from Reading, Writing, and Rising Up ) and For My People: Celebrating Community Through Poetry (from Teaching for Joy and Justice ). My poem was inspired by Margaret Walker's For My People.

A Pure Medley

This is not about the debated clash of civilizations

But about the vibrant, continuous bleeding of cultures

This is for the Americanized, assimilated immigrants' children

The evolving, eclectic generation

Who never purposely left behind an identity

Who never purposely decided to plow forward and

Who never purposely stopped reflecting back

This is for those who inhale the desire to recount histories

And exhale the desire to discount them

This is not for my grandparents, or even for my mother or formy father, Jorge

This is for my sister and for my brother, George

Who eat lumpia and kare-kare, and pollo saltado and arepa in the same week

Who say Ay naku po and Ay ay ay, and Tita and Ta

Who tan and freckle, drawing constellations on exposed flesh

Attempting to connect fleeting shooting stars

Who sit side by side and are mistaken for

Not brother and sister, or even cousins

But friends

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