You’re 8 years old.
Your 3rd grade class orders chinese food & your father delivers it. You are so excited to see your pops in school. He’s your hero. But apparently other kids don’t think he’s so cool. They laugh at him and mimic his accent. You don’t want to be Chinese anymore. pic.twitter.com/6vW9DXZK6x
— Kimberly Yam (@kimmythepooh) August 18, 2018
Yesterday in one sitting I read Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai: it’s a short verse novel, so saying I finished it quickly is a silly boast. The story, light in words but heavy with my response and reaction. This is a beautiful story.
For the first time in my teaching life, my new district has a prescripted curriculum. There are four modules and four novels, and though one of them is not my choice (Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand) I know I’ll jump in and give every novel my best. There is so much to dig through here, and I’m thrilled it’s the first novel we begin with: culture, fear, family, longing, sorrow, joy, bigotry, and kindness of such a magnitude it brought me to tears (when you read it you’ll know what part.)
I will share Kimberly Yam’s story and any others that my friends and family want to offer. I will share my own story of being new, confused and trying to fit in as quickly as possible. But mostly I will ask students to share. What an amazing beginning.