I was a community organizer for nineteen years prior to becoming a classroom teacher and use the skills I learned as an organizer in my classroom. I think I’m also able to help my English Language Learner students respond to neighborhood problems that affect their families.
I was pleasantly surprised (if not shocked) to find an online resource that shares a lot of community organizing insights in a way that’s accessible to English Language Learners. The Community Organizing Toolkit, which was developed in part by the Center For Third World Organizing, is an online comic book with text and audio support.
Unfortunately, it focuses on “door-knocking,” which is the tactic of going door-to-door to talk to residents about community problems. I believe this is about the least effective way to do organizing that there is — but this blog is not about organizing strategies.
Even with this major flaw, the site will help English Language Learners understand more about participating in our society as an active citizen, especially if it’s offered as part of a larger study on citizenship.