4 Questions to Guide Your Back-to-School PlanningAug 12, 2022
When we're planning for the new school year, we're often thinking about classroom set up, decorations, start-of-the-year activities/events, and even what our first book or reading might be to welcome students. While those aspects are important, they're not the crux of teaching. You can have all those elements in perfect condition, and still have a harmful and problematic curriculum and instructional approach. I want to invite you to think a little deeper. Here are 4 questions you can consider:
1. What in our curriculum has sustained the narrative that Black lives don't matter? Ask this as you consider what topics you'll be exploring. Think books, units of study, and concepts you're focusing on.
2. What stories are we telling that need to be more complex & nuanced? Think about what you leave out, what is missing, and conversely what is centered. There are patterns in our educational system and these trends are often exclusive. They leave out those of us who whose identity exist in the margins of our society's acceptability.
3. What anti Black racism are we teaching? When we're silent we're complicit with the lies and damaging narratives our curriculum was designed to tell.
4. What student biases do we need to unearth? Think of your biases and also be concerned for theirs. This applies to all students, because even students of color have work to do.
I tweeted about this and invite you to share, retweet, and/or respond with your thoughts. You can do so here, in these comments, too.
Take your time. Reflect with patience. Plan meaningfully.
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