What do you want for the children you love most?
We are living through an ugly era. Our students are, too. Children of color, first- and second-generation immigrants, and LGBT students feel the menace in their very bodies. A third-grader should not have to ask, “Why does our President hate me?” But whatever our students’ backgrounds may be, most teachers believe that their role is more complicated, more vital, and demands more courage than at any time in the past.
In the first post of the roundtable discussion on equity and social justice in education, Lori Nazareno, who will be leading the roundtable discussion with AR teacher Justin Minkel, urges us to be a little braver. She asks that we “put our ears to our hearts,” look unflinchingly into the mirror provided by recent events, and ask: “What am I going to do about what I see?”
Over the next two months, the Center for Teaching Quality, in partnership with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, will be hosting a blogging roundtable discussion that focuses on issues of equity and social justice. Bloggers from across the country will share what they are doing as educators and as human beings to engage in that action and create that peace. Four bloggers are teachers of color; three are openly gay or lesbian. All have taught children who are particularly vulnerable to the rhetoric, bigotry, and policy shifts of this era.
In this era, what is the role of educators? Please join the conversation and share your story, your teaching, the actions you are taking, and your reflections on what this era means for us as educators by commenting on these blog posts and inviting people to join the discussion on social media with #CTQCollab. Be sure to follow CTQ on Facebook and Twitter to see when each new blog is posted.
This roundtable was originally slated for November, but we have chosen to publish now given the violence and bigotry on display in Charlottesville and the unprecedented omission of condemnation by far too many of our nation’s politicians. We didn’t know at the time that the change to DACA would follow, nor, obviously, can we anticipate what may happen next to threaten the most vulnerable among us.
- Lori Nazareno: Leaning into my truth
- Justin Minkel: Teacher: 'This is what we've fallen to' (Originally published by Washington Post Answer Sheet)
- Rich Ognibene: Finding the courage to support queer youth
- Shanna Peeples: Three essential responses to Trump that will change the world (or at least your part of it)
- Joshua P. Starr: To lead for equity, learn how the system works (Originally published by Phi Delta Kappa)
Check out these other published pieces and resources on social justice in education, including a series of blogs posted by educators during a roundtable held last year.
- Joe Bolz: The pre-work: The me work
- Laurie Calvert: I was a racist teacher and I didn’t even know it (Originally published by Education Post)
- Precious Crabtree: Teaching in a world filled with fear (Originally published by Education Week Teacher)
- Tricia Ebner: The elephant in the classroom: Addressing social justice directly
- Julie Hiltz: Incorporating social justice in the school library media center
- John Holland: White privilege is easy
- Noah Klein: They'd rather leave in handcuffs than give up their cell phones
- Jozette Martinez: Reflections on Stowe's "Strange, what brings these past things so vividly back to us, sometimes!"
- Marcia Powell: Caricature or character
- Nick Tutolo: Tracking: A continuation of school segregation
- Emily Vickery: Teacher's campaign dilemma