Gita Varadarajan joins Michelle Morris Jones on the Phenomenal Teaching Podcast to talk about the ways in which diverse texts allow students to develop empathy for others, explore challenging topics, find joy and deepen their comprehension skills. Gita brings years of classroom experience to spark conversation and scaffold opportunities that guide students toward a variety of texts to create a balanced diet of rich literature. As illustrated in the PEBC Teaching Framework, providing students with life worthy materials that mirror the real world, time to read and explore, and lively discourse create classroom communities that support agency, equity and understanding.
In addition, Gita shares her journey as an author, educator, and newcomer to the United States. Gita Varadarajan was born and raised in India. She is the co-author of the award-winning Save Me a Seat with Sarah Weeks and the newly released My Bindi (illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan). She has worked with children all over the world and currently teaches 4th grade at Riverside Elementary School in Princeton, New Jersey. As a children’s author, Gita strives to incorporate her understanding of power and privilege along with the importance of hope and joy as her characters navigate the world of school and home. She hopes her stories provide new perspectives for her readers, opportunities to connect with diverse literature, and to create a place for laughter and joy. Learn more about Gita by visiting her website or following her on twitter at @gitavarad1.
The “Phenomenal Teaching Podcast” is brought to you by Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC) and is intended to elevate the strands of the PEBC Teaching Framework illustrated in Wendy Ward Hoffer’s book, Phenomenal Teaching. Those strands include community, planning, workshop, thinking strategies, discourse, and assessment. Thank you for joining us this season as we strive to share the stories of educators who are creating scaffolds for each and every student to ensure that classrooms and schools are places where agency, equity, and understanding can flourish.