A place for educators to find thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences in schools
Middle school teachers struggle to find ways to respond to bullying, teasing, name-calling and exclusionary practices among students. We tread lightly sometimes, afraid of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time thus making conditions worse for a bullied student. Being heavy-handed almost never works. Students also know how to say the right thing to adults and then act in a completely contrary way towards peers.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many families were devastated. Schools were closed for a week or more. Children and adults were stranded.
Okay, so we’re all still here.
That’s what I want us to remember following the presidential election. There’s been so much talk of the Big Divide, of two worlds within one country, of two opposing visions, sets of values and versions of our nation. We speak entirely different languages and literally, it seems, experience “the truth” as entirely different and, alas, incompatible truths.
Let’s talk about voting.
Yesterday, we asked our 65,000 Facebook followers if they had held mock elections in their schools. We heard from one lone voice that reported her middle school had 100 percent turnout.
I recently served as a reader of scholarship applications. The process included a complex algorithm for inclusion and took several criteria into account, like GPA, test scores, native languages, income level, assets, essays, parental education level and ethnicity. While providing this service, I came face-to-face with a misconception about race and ethnicity: Appearance predicts what language people speak.
In preparation for Mix It Up at Lunch Day, Dent Middle School students designed t-shirts, performed skits on the morning news show and decorated the lunchroom. Their event was a huge success!
As part of Mix it Up at Lunch Day, Arrowwood Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado provided students with a series of ice-breakers to spice up the conversation and help create new friendships. The Douglas County School District’s video of the event shows what Mix It Up is all about!
This week, schools across the nation participated in Mix It Up at Lunch Day with great success. From colored t-shirts to glow bracelets, each school made the event its own—and every school broke down social barriers and took a step toward creating a welcoming school climate.