Welcome to the Teaching Tolerance blog, a place where educators who care about diversity, equity and justice can find news, suggestions, conversation and support.
When the start of Mix It Up at Lunch Day was announced at Seth Johnson Elementary in Montgomery, Ala., cheers rose up in the halls. At lunch, the fifth-grade class – leaders of this year’s activities – proudly displayed the banner they created for the event.
Two truths and one lie.
That’s how Mix It Up at Lunch Day began at Fordson High School in Dearborn, Mich. Students sat down to lunch with people who were not in their usual social circle. As an icebreaker, students played a game in which one person told two truths and one lie: the rest of the group had to guess which statement was false.
As you know, many schools in Los Angeles have dealt with racial tensions, race riots, and violence on campus stemming from issues of race and misunderstanding.
Mix It Up at Lunch Day is just around the corner. Most students report that the Mix It Up experience – taking one lunch hour to sit somewhere new and make friends – is a positive experience that helps reduce tension across social boundaries. Sometimes, though, students are reluctant to participate.
Like many, if not most, I had a rough first year as a teacher. I was 21 years old and full of passion and desire but little else. I had survived student teaching on the Navajo Reservation for six months, but arrived on the other side of that experience with much to learn. I was teaching two-hour blocks of seventh-grade history and English. I was struggling on almost every level in almost every area.
Have you ever walked in the same hallway every day -- or driven from point A to point B -- without remembering how you got there, who you passed, or what you saw?
Today is the 11th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. I don’t think anyone can contemplate this date without a mix of strong emotions. But for me, the date always brings a special blend of anger, shame and guilt.