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
The food justice unit was one of the most successful of the year. Until the meltdown.
Students had watched Food, Inc., read several articles about food production and created masterful multimedia presentations on their learning. They were now presenting. Omar chose several pictures of his favorite dishes. He told us about them and how they were made. Then he interjected a seemingly innocent joke.
Through a grant from Teaching American History, I was part of a group of teachers who spent months reading, listening and watching films and videos about the civil rights movement before we took a trip to the South.
But still it was history—far away, untouchable and remote. That was until the first day in Sumner, Miss.
I decided to show a short You Tube video clip in class the other day. It’s a montage of scenes of men crying from various movies complete with cheesy background music, a song Don’t Cry Out Loud. I used it to open a discussion about how stereotypes put unnecessary limitations on people.
Children can learn a thing or two from pets.
They learn responsibility through feeding and caring for their furry friends. They learn about loss when their pets die and they partake in their first funeral rites.
We must teach conflict resolution, empathy and individual responsibility to students as deliberately as we teach math and science. Schools will not get better until we do.
I love my neighborhood. On any given morning at the bus stop, I hear five different languages being spoken. While the words and sounds are different, the context is the same.
I am a bad Jew.
My knowledge of my heritage is anecdotal. My practice of my culture is reduced to lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. While I have great respect and appreciation for any person who contributes vitally to our society, I don’t have any special respect or appreciation for someone just because of his Jewishness. So I had a lot of nerve getting my hackles up because Back to School Night was held on Rosh Hashana.
I lean against my classroom door, fielding questions about last night’s homework and passing out early morning hellos. I watch students disperse into their assigned first-period classes. As I steal a quick sip of my morning coffee, I find myself pausing at this thought: A supposedly unbiased computer system serendipitously placed our students into their respective classes, but is this all there is to mixing it up? No.