May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Every month we have the opportunity to put a community, or a topic, center stage. This year, out of all years, I feel an added obligation, responsibility, and drive to spotlight AAPI history and heritage.

I encourage every educator, parent, and student to celebrate AAPI folks and contributions with added zeal this May 2021. In a year that has seen great tumult, that has generated targeted hate and violence, we have a responsibility to push back against racism, misogyny, white supremacy.

May 2021 celebrate through literature, through video, through TikTok! Provide more content, representation, and depth of understanding–specifically about the AAPI community. We have so much to learn and share, let’s do just that . . .

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick and simple list 🤗

Book recommendations:

Children’s/picture book: Thank You Very Mochi by Paul Matsushima

Adult/nonfiction/memoir: Know My Name by Chanel Miller and Dear America, Notes from an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas

Podcast episode:

CodeSwitch — Not Just a ‘Black Thing’: An Asian-American’s Bond with Malcolm X

Social Media recommendation:

@intersectional.abc (activist)

@leendadong (just fun/funny)

@teachandtransform (educator)

Other:

AAPI community organizations, museums, and centers near you!

March 2021: Women’s History Month

March: Women’s History Month

March 8, 2021: International Women’s Day

It’s the time of year where we make an added effort, allot added time, to recognize the contributions and achievements of women throughout history.

This month I think it’s notable and relevant to discuss how women, always but especially in the time of COVID, have been instrumental leaders, and the backbone of our planet’s survival. Whether they led their country in incredibly successful containment and lockdown efforts–cheers to Taiwan, New Zealand, and more–or their gendered work (childcare, eldercare, sewing, cleaning, etc.) was the very reason we survived, women’s contributions–big and small–their assigned work and the work they chose, has always deserved more than we have given . . . so this month, make sure to add lessons, discussions, and more to the calendar, in honor of Women’s History Month.

Photo by Wisma Urcine on Unsplash

March 2021: Welcome Back!

Welcome back??

I have my ears closely in conversations and news segments in California and Nevada, I am always on the lookout for school updates, and it seems that March 2021 is when in-person, of some kind, public schooling will be returning for quite a number of us.

Whether it is one day a week or five days a week, whether it is fully in-person or hybrid, whether it is gradual or immediate, I wish all of you the best of luck. This is the longest any of us has been away from our school routine; so, while it will be exciting and rewarding, it will also be exhausting–and know one can be grateful and tired at the same time.

So I say again: Welcome back 🏫

Photo by Atoms on Unsplash

Monthly Advice–August

Last year was a year unlike any other. This year is shaping up to be a similar situation:

  • When will we go back to our classrooms?
    • Will we ever go back to our classrooms?
  • Can we wear masks–all day?
    • Are shields better than masks?
  • How do we social distance . . . in a classroom?
  • How will evaluations work?
  • Who attends on what days?
  • What does funding look like?
  • What programs will we use online? How do we use them?

. . . there are many questions. And while we can answer some before we begin the school year, so much cannot be answered until we are in the trenches.

So this month, and for this year, my advice: just do your best. It’s the only thing we can do.

This is a new experience, and a new roadmap, for everyone. All we can do is our best.

Sometimes our best will mean the internet is great, the lesson translates via the laptop, and learning is happening as planned; sometimes our best will mean waiting for the internet to catch-up, repeating yourself because the connection was interrupted, and all that planned learning for today, happens tomorrow. As long as you’re doing your best, I am proud of you, and applaud you.

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Photo by stem.T4L on Unsplash

 

Monthly Advice–March

So, in late January, I decided to get prepared and stock up on literature to make Black History Month as inclusive as possible.

I made deliberate choices for my own development too–I read new books, I read about new and unknown history, I read literature by new authors. It’s been a great experience and I’m thrilled that I stuck to my goal.

March is Women’s History Month. I am on the same path and journey to expand, broaden, and ensure a successful Women’s History Month.

This month, on my own time, I will read stories by women only. Each woman though, will have to have a different background–meaning, if I read a book by a woman from Japan, next book needs to be a woman from another place in the world. This way, I continue to expand my perspective, my lens, and my readership.

For my students, I will do my best to do the same. As an American, in the United States, I will probably have more titles and stories about notable American women; however, in this case, each American woman will need to hail from a different part of the States, illustrate a different time period or component of history, and/or represent a different community (i.e. Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Black, Asian, Native, etc.). Again, the purpose is celebrating the vastness of women’s contributions.

At times, this can be a daunting goal, but once it’s started it comes naturally–and it’s enjoyable. So, I’m off to the library 📚 and my Amazon account 😉, wish me luck!