While reading the short story Building Community from Chaos by Linda Christensen, I felt connection with the issues that students face when learning throughout school. Many of the subjects and topics we are taught throughout school seem irrelevant and unimportant. Often we spend more time pondering when we will use what is being taught, rather than doing the work.

I find that the issues of not wanting to learn may seem more problematic at a middle to high school level. Although I am going to be teaching elementary students, this story makes me aware of the problems and struggles my students may face growing up. Therefore, it is important at a young age in school to let children know that they have a voice and an opinion that matters. I believe that it is vital for students to express how they are feeling and struggles they are experiencing, so a community among the classroom can be built. This community can be an inclusive and expressive place for all students.

“Each September I have this optimistic misconception that I’m going to create a compassionate, warm, safe place for students in the first days of class because my recollection is based on the final quarter of the previous year” (p. 68). This quote really stood out to me. We have to enter our classrooms with an open mind, being ready for any challenges or bumps we may face. It may take time to build a safe space for students, but to begin this journey we must start by building a community of learners.

{Burant, Terry. The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance, and Hope during Your First Years in the Classroom, Second Edition.  Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, 2010. Print.}

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