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Tag Archives: social_justice

The Day After

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Election Day was yesterday. Like many people in my local area, my students today were on edge and largely unbelieving about the results. 

As each first bell rang, I shut the door and greeted each class, mostly like usual. But then I had to get things off my chest. I hadn’t slept well, in part stressing about what I could do with my students in the morning. We talked. I gave them permission to be angry or sad or happy or confused for today, because there’s a lot to process. And I told them that because I’m white with my background, my education, and my economic status, and how that means I have to help those who don’t have my privilege. And I encouraged them to help each other out, and even non-school people who may need help in the next few weeks and years. And I listed some groups of people for us to protect. And I encouraged all of them, who will be eligible for the next presidential election, to vote in four years because if nothing else, this election definitely shows that all votes matter on both sides. And a few students volunteered thoughts and ideas in class, and everyone was respectful and listened. 

And a few students thanked me for saying all the things, which was flattering, but not why I did it. But the gratitude sure eased some of my pain. 
A former colleague came back to school, just to give everyone hugs. Which was so welcome and necessary. Support networks are so important. Making these networks visible to those who don’t believe they have them is also important. 

Work through it today. Tomorrow the real work begins. 

Day 91: More Social Justice Stuff

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Day 91/180: social justice random-ness

It’s a professional development day in the local district (read: no subbing available!), so I figured that it’d be a great day to do my own PD. Besides clearing out more backlogged stuff, I’m now noticing how much of it is related to social justice. I’m obviously interested in it, and I obviously need more of it in my reading and thinking.

Sad side note: I got most of these links from Twitter, but I no longer know who Tweeted them.

Listened to Rusul Alrubail on this (far too short) podcast. I was struck by her thoughtful clarity in possible issues during classroom discussions. I definitely agree with the idea of re-directing people back to the central topics when they’re mad or indignant. That makes a lot of sense to me. I would love to hear more from Rusul!

Played The Shape Game by Vi Hart and Nicky Case. Super interesting (and, at times, frustrating!) to see how patterns emerge from prejudices. For me, mini-non-binding-versions of this when my family goes to Chinese restaurants… Oof. More to process.

Took a few Implicit Bias tests, which approximate your unconscious biases against particular groups.

And this Big Marker talk by Elizabeth Self on on Seeing your students. Big things in my head: automatic (integrated!) assumption that “minority” = somehow diminished/lesser; practicing common student/parent interactions before needing them. This one is juicy. I need to watch it again (I keep saying that).