Ray Salazar, also know as The White Rhino, is a Latino English teacher in Chicago Public Schools who has penned a blog for Chicago Now about how he and his class analyzed and judged Mayor Emanuel’s speech in the lead up to the release of the Laquan MacDonald video. He chose to move away from the “recommended” lesson provided by CPS and instead chose to work with a primary text, in this case, a city leader’s speech. This is a fascinating and important read.
Too often we believe that young people can only superficially engage in real-world conversations. Or we believe that conversations have to be “touchy-feely” to be meaningful. I fight against both of these misconceptions in my high-school English classes. When given the opportunity in a structured and challenging intellectual experience, young people reveal how capable they are of making insightful judgments about issues thought to be above their heads.