Here is Blog Post #1 on my NCTE experience. I felt it was only appropriate to start off this series of blogs with the opening session of NCTE: The First Wave performers. I thought that this group was an excellent way to begin the session because their message really went along well with the theme of the conference: Reinventing English.
Some of the things I wrote down in my writer’s notebook after this session were:
“The bad kid isn’t necessarily bad.”
“Tell students you’re not calling their mother or father, ‘I’m calling you.'”
“Embrace diversity. Don’t stereotype and forget about students.”
“What happens when you take ‘act’ out of ‘article?'”
“Stop trying to make people fit the standards.”
These were jut some of the lines I wrote down from their performance. For those who have never heard of The First Wave, they are a group of students from the University of Wisconsin who present through the medium of Hip Hop. They create their own words and choreograph their performances. What I really enjoyed about the performance was how they believed in what they were performing. The performance was powerful because the students were taking a stand against the traditional education system and gave examples from their own lives of how people treated them. Some also talked about teachers who influenced their lives.
If you want to learn more about The First Wave, the website is http://omai.wisc.edu/. I think if you can find some clips of this groups performances, they can be shown before a social justice unit in the classroom. I believe this group would have profound effects on students.