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 Age of Innocence in a 9/11 World

Matthew Halpern - September 7, 2011

Each year, as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I feel a twinge of trepidation. My students don’t remember that horrible day. It’s not on their radar. I struggle with balancing wanting to honor those who lost their lives and the heroes of that day with the need to respect the innocence and hope of my students. Reconciling these conflicting emotions is always tricky.

Help Students Get Perspective on 9/11

Jacqueline Yahn - September 6, 2011

As the country approaches the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Teaching Tolerance bloggers have written about their insights and experiences in the classroom as a result of the attacks. We offer these for your reflection and adoption. 

Faced with the Real World, Will You Speak Up?

Farrah T. Giroux - September 2, 2011

It was a brisk New England day as I walked out of the community center with a group of Somali Muslim women from my adult English as a Second Language class. My students were laughing and joking, their hijabs blowing in the breeze. We had finished our unit on the New World, drawing connections between Europeans immigrating to America and Somalis immigrating to Lewiston and southern Maine. Suddenly, a local woman shouted, "Terrorists!"

It’s Time to Put Stereotype Threat to Rest

Marguerite Rucker - September 1, 2011

"She's just trying to act white." I remember those piercing but confusing words cutting me like a knife. I clinched my Super Reader certificate. My puzzled expression was taken as bravado by the African-American girls, who responded with a threatening question, "Do you want us to fix your face?"

Student Advocates Work Despite a Thankless Task

Brandon Baldwin - August 31, 2011

Junior high school students and members of their school's student civil rights team felt that no one was taking them seriously in their efforts to improve the school's climate. Recently they'd visited classrooms and offered presentations on Maine's civil rights laws and the harmful impact of bias-based derogatory language. They did not get a warm reception from their peers.

Detention Leads to a Lunchtime Community

Jan S. Gephardt - August 30, 2011

The year I taught art in the dysfunctional chaos of an overcrowded urban middle school with weak administrators, practically everyone in the school—both students and teachers—needed a "safe place."

The Digital Divide Has Real-World Impact

Brenda Anfinson - August 26, 2011

A couple of months ago, a student pulled me aside to ask for help with a job application. As a teacher working with adult immigrants and refugees, I hear this request fairly often. After class, we discussed the job she wanted –housekeeping for one of the large hotel chains in the area. Paper applications were no longer accepted.

Media Literacy Builds Classroom Community

Lisa Parisi - August 26, 2011

As I head back to the classroom, I think about the last school year. In the second-to-last week of school, my fifth-grade classroom was 90 degrees, with no air conditioning. My students were sitting together, helping each other, laughing, struggling and having fun. At the beginning of the year, they were unsure of each other. They smiled politely but kept to themselves or the friends they knew and never asked for help. So what had changed?

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