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

Move Beyond Policy to Practical Safe Space

Peter J. Elliott - November 9, 2011

Anna quickly entered my freshmen English classroom when the third-period bell rang. She is no longer a freshman. This was a free period. Still, she sat at the desk closest to mine and buried her head in her AP European History textbook.

She knew she was safe here.

Turning Headlines into Impromptu Lessons

Pamela Cytrynbaum - November 8, 2011

The explosion of news coverage over the controversial execution of Troy Davis in Georgia recently is a reminder that our students learn powerful lessons outside our classrooms.

These events offer opportunities for lessons of context inside our classrooms.

Student Advocates Help Realize a DREAM

Jill E. Thomas - November 8, 2011

Oct. 8, was a day of victory for a group of 22 Life Academy students in Oakland, Calif.

They are part of a 2-year-old advocacy club called “The Real DREAM Act Movement.” Students met regularly to support in campaigning for the passage of the federal DREAM Act. After several weeks of active letter writing and campaigning, their dream had finally come true: California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 131, a companion bill to AB 130, together known as the “California DREAM Act.”

'Jellybean' Offers Powerful Lesson in Inclusion

Jill Spain - November 7, 2011

By the 171st day of school, even a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher like me is pretty sure I am immune to being moved or motivated in any sort of way.

I am mechanically and somewhat maniacally moving toward the soul nurturing, patience restoring and creativity refueling station we know as “summer vacation.” My fuse is short. I have an overwhelming need for order, structure and control in the classroom. Final exams, deadlines for grades and year-end papers are due.

A Teacher in the Classroom and Out

Emily Kissner - November 4, 2011

“I’ve gotten used to you being a teacher everywhere you go.”

My oldest son said this to me at the beginning of the summer after some children we don’t know joined a game of tag that we were playing together.

Teen Passion Needs Social Justice Outlet

Sarah Sansbury - November 3, 2011

"It's not fair!”

Full of angst and rebellion, the teenage delinquent, arms crossed, leans against a concrete wall with a surly look. Heavy eyes searing under a furled brow, lips pursed in a snarl. This stereotypical portrayal of teenagers is ubiquitous in media and seems to represent society's general opinion of this age group. Unfortunately, society doesn’t have the full picture here.

‘Teacher for a Day’ Energizes Students

Jacqueline Yahn - November 2, 2011

I wiggle in my desk chair, softly swiveling it ever so gently back and forth, and fidget with my pen. I am a student in my own classroom.

At the front of the room stands a teacher in my place. To outside observers the girl dressed in flip flops and jeans pointing at things projected to the white board could not possibly be in charge—if anything they might mistake her as an unruly student who escaped from the confines of her desk. 

Photo Project Connects Lessons With Life

Brenda Anfinson - November 1, 2011

At least once a quarter, my colleagues and I create a big project for our students. We hope that they will connect what they learn in the classroom with the wider experiences they have in the community.

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