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
You’re likely feeling immersed in Mix It Up by now, having browsed our online offerings, read the blogs and emails, followed updates on Facebook and Twitter. But you might be asking yourself, “What are these model schools? How were they chosen? What’s special about them?”
The first International Day of the Girl, a United Nations initiative to promote gender equality around the world, was Oct. 11. When I explained the day to my extra-curricular group for girls, their responses varied. One student remarked that a day wasn’t enough, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. Another noted that it was about time someone recognized the multitude of issues that girls face. Still another asked why we needed a day at all.
Mix It Up at Lunch Day has been the subject of much conversation this week. From the New York Times to the Colbert Report, adults have been weighing in on the importance of breaking down social boundaries in schools.
But what do kids think about Mix It Up at Lunch Day?
Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, spoke to WSFA of Montgomery, Ala., this morning about the important role programs like Mix It Up at Lunch Day play in breaking down social barriers and building positive school climate.
During my first year as a second-grade teacher, I struggled with classroom management. I am a soft-spoken person by nature and habit. I didn't have the experience to help me set up great rules and procedures for my students. My classroom was noisy and chaotic. I think you could hear us all around the school.
More than half the students in my middle school receive special education services or some extra help for academics or behavior. We polled our student leadership to find out the biggest issues in school. They said, “Cliques.”
I hate sheet protectors. Those shiny, clear plastic sheaths have no place in my classroom. When my new ninth-graders hand in their summer reading logs each September, the first thing I do is remove and return all the sheet protectors. They make it impossible for me to maintain my neat stacks of student work. They don’t quite fit into the file folders I use to transport those stacks home to grade them. I have to remove them before I can write any feedback.
Teaching Tolerance proudly endorses “What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers.” This publication, jointly produced by the Religious Freedom Education Project and the Interfaith Alliance Islamic Understanding, answers 27 frequently asked questions about Islam as it is practiced and lived in the United States. It can be found on the Teaching Tolerance website.