Welcome to the Teaching Tolerance blog, a place where educators who care about diversity, equity and justice can find news, suggestions, conversation and support.
Ann Van Etten - March 14, 2012
In my eighth-grade language arts classroom, we use discussion as a vehicle for learning, thinking, writing, posing and defending arguments, questioning and reviewing—just about everything. And as can be expected, we sometimes digress from the topic at hand.
Alice Pettway - March 9, 2012
On Monday, LGBT students’ rights were vindicated in a comprehensive settlement with Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District over its policies that hindered teachers from effectively responding to anti-gay bullying—policies that may have contributed to some of the district’s recent suicides. Then on Tuesday, in the afterglow of this historic victory, the Utah Senate passed its own discriminatory bill (HB 363) prohibiting educators from teaching about, or even talking about, homosexuality.
Jan S. Gephardt - March 8, 2012
Many times in my career, I have heard a colleague warn, “Watch out for that one! He’s trouble!” Students quickly gain a reputation with the teachers. In an effort to help each other, teachers may offer a warning about a challenging student. I’ve learned not to believe everything I’m told.
Alice Pettway - March 8, 2012
Schools have a responsibility to maintain a safe learning environment for all students—this seems on first examination a simple enough statement. It isn’t. Two words are key—“learning” and “all.” A school that is inclusive of all its students but unable to nurture learning has failed in its responsibility. An academically successful school that only supports its majority students has equally neglected its obligation.
Gwendolyn Eden - March 6, 2012
I recently visited a friend’s preschool classroom. While there, I saw an argument that mirrored my high school students’ conflicts. I walked away curious about the way younger and older students use their words to explain their feelings and the actions of others.
Jill Spain - March 1, 2012
Sometimes school tracking sets students up for failure, academically and socially. My students with disabilities, who require extra academic assistance, often ended up on the short end of the stick. Because they were in all of the same classes together I noticed that they also clung to each other in the cafeteria. They had a difficult time fitting in and making friends with other students.
Orrin Konheim - February 29, 2012
Occupy D.C. protesters Nathaniel Brown and Nicole Normile are high-schoolers. That’s not unheard of. The really interesting story is that they were encouraged to get involved by their high school civics teacher. The two seniors are part of the seven-member, student-directed extra-curricular club “Waking Up the Nation” at the Howard Gardner School in Alexandria, Va. Since its inception in the Fall of 2010, the social activism club has tackled a number of social projects from preventing war to seeking environmental justice under the leadership of faculty advisor Matt Hawley is the group’s faculty advisor.
Michelle Higgins - February 28, 2012
My desire to share stories about some of the most important people and events in history led me to teach. That’s why I volunteered for a project with Whitman College students to teach a lesson on the civil rights movement in my three history classes.