The Skin I’m In was an easy read written by Sharon G. Flake about a seventh grader named Maleeka Madison. This bright Seventh grader attended McClenton Middle School where she dealt with all the issues that come with trying to fit in and be accepted by your peers. These issues along with the death of Maleeka’s dad a couple years ago started to become very overwhelming and caused her to conduct herself in ways that mad e no sense at all. Although so many people didn’t understand what exactly was going on with her, there was one teacher, Miss Saunders who knew and had experienced the things she was feeling all too well.
One of the biggest issues dealt with in this book was bullying by peers. Maleeka was talked about because she was tall, because she had very chocolate skin, because she was smart, because her clothes were homemade; everything was a problem according to the other students. Before her father passed the issues weren’t as big of a problem because he instilled in her to be proud of the person she was, but once gone she started looking at herself differently. Maleeka would succumb to the threats, bribery, and mean words of a girl named Char just so that she would have clothes that she felt others would think were socially acceptable. Although in Maleeka’s mind and in her journal entries she knew giving in to the bullying was stupid, she didn’t seem to have a voice enough to express what she was feeling deep down. This aspect of the book taught me that it is almost inevitable to avoid instances such as these in your classroom, but as a teacher I have to figure out ways to stay “WithIt” and keep each student on track. As teachers our number one job is to educate and if there is anything at all we can do to reduce bullying and keep students on the right path so that we can do just that, then we should.
In this book Miss Saunders the new teacher could relate to Maleeka. She was born with a face that had a big mark on it and was teased as a child...
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