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

Leave Exclusion Out of the Group Dynamic

Emily Kissner - April 30, 2012

For the second week in a row, I was left partnerless in my graduate class. It was my own fault, I guess. I didn’t feel like moving. As I scanned the room, no one made eye contact with me or motioned toward me. It was clear that I would have to make the first move to ask to be included in a group—and, after a day filled with hundreds of tiny setbacks, I just didn’t feel like it.

The Case of the Missing Women

Pamela Cytrynbaum - April 27, 2012

I held up the front page of our college newspaper and asked my first-year journalism students if any questions came to mind as they looked at the photographs of candidates running for president and vice president of our student government.

It’s a multimedia storytelling class and the assignments for the week were about analyzing and taking photographs.

When a Student Says No to College

Kim Blevins - April 26, 2012

John was in my eighth-grade class. He was a rascal and my favorite kind of student. He was rambunctious and smart as a whip. And he and his family lived in poverty. His favorite memory of middle school is when I gave him detention time after school.

“Why’d I get this?” he exclaimed.

“Because you’ve racked up four deductions for talking and disrupting class,” I calmly said.

He looked down at the detention slip, “Well, OK then.”

It’s one of our favorite stories.

Deafness Isn’t a Deficit

Gary Wellbrock - April 25, 2012

Every prospective parent hopes for a healthy baby.

But when it comes to hearing and Deaf cultures, “healthy” is defined differently. Four out of 5 deaf children are born to hearing parents. When told this prognosis, hearing parents often experience what psychiatrist and grief expert Elisabeth Kübler-Ross characterized as the Five Stages of Grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance).

Placing Value on Education, Equity — and Soap

Amanda Ryan Fear - April 24, 2012

I’m standing at my customary position in the cafeteria during lunch duty one day, watching students pass by, lunches in hand, heading to their usual tables. Some students say hello to me. Others give a quick wave. Some avoid eye contact at all costs.

Seeing Students, Not Threats

Jan S. Gephardt - April 23, 2012

My third-period students rushed in at the start of class, wide-eyed and excited. Something had happened.

“Quentin hit Ms. Combs!”

Helen Combs was my friend. She taught language arts. “He knocked her down,” one student reported. “They took her to the hospital, and the police took him away in handcuffs!”

Humanizing Middle Schools with Compliments

Sarah Anderson - April 23, 2012

Name-calling is pervasive in our culture. According to advocacy organization Mental Health America, teens hear anti-gay slurs approximately 26 times a day. Other anti-bullying websites such as Bullying Statistics.org cite name-calling as the most common type of harassment in schools.

A Day of Silence that Left a Lasting Impact

Peter J. Elliott - April 20, 2012

Four years ago, we held our first Day of Silence, an annual event where students at schools across the country take a vow of silence in support of LGBT students who are harassed and bullied.

That first Day of Silence was an anxious experiment for our suburban private school. We followed resources offered by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Our diversity club faculty sponsors and student leaders planned a series of announcements, acquired administrative approval and fielded concerned questions from faculty members who didn’t embrace the event and felt it would disrupt their classrooms.

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