In class, I've been reading "Coming into Language" by Jimmy Santiago Baca, addressing themes of literacy, and the redemptive power of self expression. However, it seems as though it's hard for students who have been in good educational systems to imagine how much of an impact under-trained and inexperienced teachers can have. In "Coming into Language," Baca mentions how his teacher made him stand with his nose against the chalkboard when Baca did something incorrectly as a student. As I was re-reading a counterstory by Tara j. Yosso, the impact of bad teaching came to a finer point when a composite character recalls that a substitute teacher once said to the class, "I don't care if you don't do this assignment. You don't have to be here at all. Within a few years, most of you will either be pregnant, in prison, or dead because you're in a gang" ("Students on the Move" 80).
Even though this character is a composite, the sentiment expressed by the substitute seems to echo arguments heard in the public discourse when it comes to deficiency rhetorics used to describe Latinos/as and education. At the same time, it's reaffirming of my own teaching philosophy that comes from a place of concern and encouragement.
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