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!

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

 

Conference List

Conferences are right around the corner–are you ready?

  • Have you contacted each parent, at least once, before conferences? Establishing a relationship is critical to conference attendance.
  • Do you have a conference schedule? Have you planned some make-up time–before and after your designated conference schedule?
  • Do you have snacks? Conferences can make the days long, snacks and water make the day manageable.
  • Do you have work samples? Work samples are excellent, critical, tools to demonstrate success and concern.
  • Do you have an up-to-date progress report? It can get lost in backpacks. Have one handy for families to review.
  • Do you have talking points? Having a concrete set of items to discuss, for all conferences or for particular students, helps guide the conversation and keep it focused.

Conferences are time-consuming endeavors. Staying organized keeps you organized and limits the amount of time wasted. Conferences are incredible moments of opportunity too. Being prepared, having clear talking points and examples, allows you to maximize this opportunity to further your partnership with families and to continue working towards a year of optimal learning and growth—for your students and your practice.