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

It’s Time to Put Stereotype Threat to Rest

Marguerite Rucker - September 1, 2011

"She's just trying to act white." I remember those piercing but confusing words cutting me like a knife. I clinched my Super Reader certificate. My puzzled expression was taken as bravado by the African-American girls, who responded with a threatening question, "Do you want us to fix your face?"

Student Advocates Work Despite a Thankless Task

Brandon Baldwin - August 31, 2011

Junior high school students and members of their school's student civil rights team felt that no one was taking them seriously in their efforts to improve the school's climate. Recently they'd visited classrooms and offered presentations on Maine's civil rights laws and the harmful impact of bias-based derogatory language. They did not get a warm reception from their peers.

Detention Leads to a Lunchtime Community

Jan S. Gephardt - August 30, 2011

The year I taught art in the dysfunctional chaos of an overcrowded urban middle school with weak administrators, practically everyone in the school—both students and teachers—needed a "safe place."

The Digital Divide Has Real-World Impact

Brenda Anfinson - August 26, 2011

A couple of months ago, a student pulled me aside to ask for help with a job application. As a teacher working with adult immigrants and refugees, I hear this request fairly often. After class, we discussed the job she wanted –housekeeping for one of the large hotel chains in the area. Paper applications were no longer accepted.

Media Literacy Builds Classroom Community

Lisa Parisi - August 26, 2011

As I head back to the classroom, I think about the last school year. In the second-to-last week of school, my fifth-grade classroom was 90 degrees, with no air conditioning. My students were sitting together, helping each other, laughing, struggling and having fun. At the beginning of the year, they were unsure of each other. They smiled politely but kept to themselves or the friends they knew and never asked for help. So what had changed?

Digital Discussions Get All Kids in the Conversation

Sandra Wozniak - August 25, 2011

Classroom discussions are usually dominated by a few “alpha” students eager to participate. We can all envision those students. Hands stretched high, fingers waving, literally or figuratively saying, “Ooh, pick me, pick me.” But how do you get that student who is desperately trying not to make eye contact with you—or anyone else in the classroom—involved in the conversation? 

Bringing 9/11 in the Classroom—Useful Lessons

Thom Ronk - August 24, 2011

As a matter of practice, we encourage teachers to integrate learning opportunities about religious tolerance and cultural understanding throughout the school year. But this is especially important as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

Americans Love Teachers! (Despite All the Critics)

Sean Price - August 23, 2011

Given the beating that public school teachers have taken in recent months, the results of the 43rd annual PDK/Gallup poll were kind of surprising. The headline for it could have read “Americans love teachers!”

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