Hip Hop Genius by Sam Seidel was the focus of my flex day professional development. Although the author is a high school recording arts teacher, the book reflects on specific nuances of education. He does not force you to choose between theory and practice, but rather combines the two to create an ideal reality in the classroom. Hip Hop Genius is focused on sound scholarship and creative critical thinking. It confronts the numerous social disparities in America’s educational system and allows a teacher to see the creative value and worth in each student.
One specific lesson I found to be useful was the importance of student leadership within the classroom. He tells a specific story about one of his students that I found particularly useful. Seidel said of this particular student that “he was a great school leader. This is true not despite the academic struggles he went through as a student but because of them.” (Seidel 78). It’s important that we as teachers recognize that we have dozens of educational experiences sitting in front of us every day, some good and some bad. Each experience makes up the new experience that each student will have in your classroom and you must utilize every student to create a positive new experience. That why identifying and creating a setting for growth is vital. Sam Seidel discusses the importance of this and more in his book Hip Hop Genius.
Post by: Seth Morton | High School English Language Arts
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