We met Kate and Albert in a 4-series working group conducted with teachers from the UCLA Writing Project in November-February 2014-2015, in which MAPP team members were able to gain in-depth feedback on BAM and see it incorporated into lesson plans that were then executed in the classroom.
As teachers at a high poverty, under-resourced high school run by a corporate charter entity, Kate and Albert often based their conversations in the working group around the particularities of their school environment and the unique obstacles they face when bringing new media into the classroom. For example, Kate described what it’s like to teach 10th graders in Watts, where trauma is central to their everyday experiences, showing how awareness and responsiveness to neighborhood and community context situates her lesson plan about vehicles of protest as a response to trauma. She described the disconnect between the everyday lived realities of her students and what the district requires them to read and learn in their classes, and how she reframes canonical books to be more responsive to students who live in communities like Watts, arguing that this practice can be adapted for any community. Using the book Lord of the Flies as an example, Kate showed us how she uses the experiences of the characters in the story to talk about trauma, violence, limited resources, and support and help seeking practices. Relatedly, Albert talked about how even though they work in an under-resourced community and school that is going through big changes, they have been able to find ways to incorporate digital media and technology into their classrooms, and that means that other teachers should be able to too.
Click below to explore Kate & Albert's lesson plans.