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
This year our school district launched an iPad initiative for the kindergarten teachers and students at our Title I elementary school.
So people are starting to ask you, “What’s this Mix It Up at Lunch thing? What is it you’re planning?” This is a time when you definitely need your “elevator speech” ready.
A family of four came to speak to my high school juniors and seniors. Two dads and their 16-year-old daughter and 17-year-old son talked about their family, the adoption process and their experiences with discrimination and prejudice.
We’re a little less than two months out from Mix It Up at Lunch Day. What does your core planning group look like? Our most successful schools during the past decade of Mix It Up events illustrate several key points when it comes to the planning group.
Jenny started the year desperate to make friends. She was new, immature for her age and starting seventh grade. Because of a learning disability, Jenny was reading and writing at a second-grade level. She tried to hide that from friends. But in the cover-up effort, she often badmouthed her classmates and created drama.
Teaching Tolerance designed a new guide, Speak Up at School, to give educators the tools to help students and themselves turn from bystanders to upstanders by responding to biased remarks from peers, parents or even administrators. Preparation is key—but sometimes even the most prepared person draws a blank when confronted with biased language.
Teaching Tolerance is proud to present a new best practices guide for engaging limited English proficient (LEP) students and their families.
“Over the course of the last two decades, the immigrant population has increased exponentially,” said Teaching Tolerance director Maureen Costello. “We are offering the best practices guide as tool to help schools meet the linguistic needs of this population as well as provide students with a welcoming school environment.”
At the high school where I teach, we have a game called Trash Ball. Born out of necessity when we occupied a school site with no field, no track and no gym, Trash Ball requires two trash cans, one bouncy ball and a co-ed team. It can be played with many or few students. But Trash Ball is impossible to play without women and even more inconceivable to win without the full participation of the female players. The rule is that men must pass to women to advance the ball but women can pass to anyone. I first thought this rule was sexist, but over the years I have seen it played and have changed my mind. I find it empowering. In fact, the value of girls in this game is so high that female players are revered and respected. Boys no longer avoid passing to girls for fear they will fumble or “make the team lose.” Now, with Trash Ball, boys get upset when one of the girls on their team is absent because they know that having one less woman is a deficit.