As I stated in the beginning, I am focused on diverse literature. As noted, it’s an uphill battle. Finding quality is difficult. Finding quality diverse literature is a monumental task.
In my day-to-day conversations, in my daily social media feeds and conversations, in my personal interactions, I have been confronted with confusion, defensiveness, and dismissal.
People are confused. They tell me that children’s books are good–fine as they are, good enough, and mostly feature animals anyway. People are defensive. They have attachments to their own upbringing, their own learning, or just their routine. Re-evaluating their classroom experiences or their teaching practices requires acknowledging a deficit, challenging the status quo, and expanding their worldview. These are emotional endeavors. All of this leads to dismissal. The passion behind the task, the commitment to diversity is relegated to my individual soapbox rather than a collective project for every teacher.
It is easy to be discouraged. It is easy to feel alone. In my research, however, I found my words–my words of rebuttal and my words of personal encouragement: mirrors & windows.
Children are provided a lens in their learning, this lens can either be a mirror or a window. The mirrors are just as important as the windows. Mirrors allow them to be seen and heard, to realize their potential and reaffirm their value. Windows allow them to see others, to realize the potential and reaffirm the value of every person they encounter–whether that is now or in the future, in the classroom or somewhere else.
So, if you need a little encouragement or a reminder on why diverse literature is critical or important; remember, every child needs mirrors and windows, everyone benefits from being seen and seeing others.
The language of mirrors and windows comes from my original post, the image had a caption that led to researching the concept and finding several articles on it, including one on We are Teachers.
It has taken some time to understand last month’s news saga and controversy around Dr. Seuss.
As an educator, as an avid reader, as someone committed to DEI and antiracism, I took my time forming an opinion and evaluation. I wanted to listen with intention. I wanted to consider disciplines and connections.
Next week is a big week! Along with teaching, tutoring, and writing, I will be leading a professional development opportunity for schools, and school leaders and staff.
This webinar has been a labor love. I have poured over documents, research, and ideas. I have done my best to compile all this information into something coherent, as well as something truly meaningful.
Like previous webinars, attendance does not impact my stipend, like previous webinars, I understand that it may be cost prohibitive. That being said, I hope you can join me, and/or wish me luck!
My most recent education article, “Teacher v. Parent” garnered some attention. As a result, I was asked to contribute to, to join, Educate–a special interest publication on Medium focused on authentic, research-informed, education writing.
I am thrilled to have my article featured, and thrilled to join the team at Educate! I hope you’ll check out the article and publication 🤗
Earlier this month I received an invitation to speak about feminism, to speak on Women’s History Month, to represent both. It was a new experience for me: new group, new forum, and new interview style (I was given parameters, but not the questions or type of questioning upfront); I think I did well though!
If there’s one thing I learned in the past year, it’s that there are certain professions and industries which sustain our entire existence; there are certain professions and industries that hold up the entirety of society.
Schools, teachers, education–we function, we thrive, thanks to the (public) education system(s).
I knew implicitly how much schools provided, but I don’t think I understood the reach or magnitude until the buildings closed, and the way of schooling transformed, overnight. And I know those who had no idea previously, were even more shocked.
Teaching is essential. And to be able to provide such an essential service, to teach, is an incredible opportunity and noble work–and for that, I teach.