Friday, May 1, 2015

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (5)

Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation with his family. He goes to the school on the rez. He's friends with other boys on the rez. Until his teacher tells him he deserves so much more, and he transfers to the all-white farm town high school. Sometimes, when gas money runs out, he walks all the way to school.

from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Based in part on Sherman Alexie's own experiences, this a funny and beautifully written book boiling with anger at the continued racism and inequality that exists today. It's an honest look at the world without being entirely jaded. 

"But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. And so I became good. I wanted to live up to expectations. I guess that's what it comes down to. The power of expectations." - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian 

This is my mantra for life, and especially for teaching. Over and over again the books talk about high expectations and part of me is like "well, isn't that obvious?" It's nice when the research backs up what you've always known to be true. If you set the bar low because you think kids are lazy or don't care, they'll meet that expectation. But if you raise that bar and help them climb up your tower of high expectations, giving them the support they need to reach that level, they'll meet those expectations. I hope I always stay this idealistic, and don't let the standardized tests get me down...

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