Teaching Comprehension with a Culturally Responsive Lens

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Mitchell Brookins
Engagement, relevance, and rigor are critical elements of creating academic success in today’s classrooms. Teachers are tasked with how to hone students’ literacy skills while also making them critically aware of the world-at-large. In this session, participants will learn the importance of providing explicit comprehension instruction in syntax and text structure and how that deepens students’ understanding of grade-level, complex texts. Also, participants will learn the tenants of culturally relevant pedagogy. In this session, the intersection between culturally relevant pedagogy and explicit comprehension instruction will be used as lens for instructional planning and the creation of learning tasks. It is through this intersection that we will explore how to create literacy experiences that collectively empower and equip our students to navigate and transform an increasingly, complex world.


Mitchell Brookins has taught on the Southside of Chicago, been a district leader of RtI and literacy in Chicago Public Schools and served as a school administrator in Chicago Public Schools and New Orleans for the past seven years.

Mitchell’s instructional leadership as a school administrator has yielded the following results: 19-point growth in the School Performance Score, which moved ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy from a “D” to a “C” in one year, an average of 16% growth in Reading over two years at ARISE Academy, and finally, Dwight Eisenhower’s School Performance Score increased by 12 points which resulted in the school’s letter grade moving from a “D” to a “C” in one year.

Mitchell has a B.A. in Elementary Education, a M.A. in Teacher Leadership, and is currently working on his dissertation to attain a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at the University of New Orleans.

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