My language arts methods students read a chapter from Jim Burke’s English Teacher’s Companion and were asked to talk about their own “House of English” as a way to speak aloud (thus giving their words mana or power) their own beliefs on “what is English?” They are young. They will student teach next semester. However, Burke says, and I agree, that our own “House of English” continues to shift and settle and strengthen the longer we teach, so these young ones must start now to speak their growing truth so that when the hard days of pressure and compliance come to take their identity away (and those days will come), they are kū and ready to stand and withstand because they know who they are and what they believe. They must be aware of their own beliefs now so that they have a lens to ʻike, not just their own information and wisdom, but also their line of sight.
Here is my House of English. I wish I could link to their presentations too because it was much more fabulous but they own it. Not me. We all cried and laughed together. We were together to bear witness to the magic and my heart is full. That’s more than enough.
What is your House of English?