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!

Black History Month & Gallery

Black History Month — these titles represent the depth desired for my instruction and learning.

These are good reads for me and good reads for my students. These books cross a range of topics, genres, and history. These books can be used in the classroom. These books can be utilized for personal reading.

I do my best to make deliberate choices to ensure a wide range of titles, authors, stories, and voices are heard/seen. Finally, I am specifically showcasing these books because I can recommend them; I have read them all and I can attest they have plenty to provide any student, any teacher, any reader.

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Monthly Advice–February: Black History Month

Black History is not the history of slavery. 

I know you know, but not everyone knows this fact–so send this friendly reminder.

Black History Month is the history of the world. Thanks to the black diaspora there are black people all over the world. Thanks to this movement, involuntary and voluntary movement, there is black culture, black achievement, and black excellence all over the world. Black History includes the stories and contributions of African-Americans, American-Africans, Afro-Caribbeans, and so much more. Celebrate that richness, devote time to that diversity, embrace all that history.


Notable people to start with:

  • Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Award-Winning author
  • Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice President of Costa Rica of African descent
  • Bryan Stevenson, lawyer & social justice advocate–book (Just Mercy) was recently turned into a movie; founder of the Equal Justice Initiative

Notable movements and organizations to discuss:

  • Harlem Renaissance
  • NAACP
  • HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
  • Black Girls Code
  • Black Sororities and Fraternities

This month, this year, celebrate all that is Black History.