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Talking, Laughing, Playing, & Naming in the Classroom

#antiracistedu abar anti-racist schools curriculum resources social justice teachers Jan 05, 2022

Taking anti bias and antiracist (ABAR) ideas into practice is something like reinventing the wheel. Most of us didn't experience that in our own k-12 educational journeys, so we need to reimagine and reinvent teaching and learning in order to dream what ABAR teaching and learning might look like. 

The good news is that there are many educators and scholars writing books, creating materials, and more, so we don't have to reinvent that wheel. In the spirit of this help & support, we put together a few basic principles and practices that can help build your ABAR teaching and learning approach. 

First, we said that ABAR must include CONVERSATIONS. Realize that we need to take more time to understand how ABAR teaching and learning is embodied. Conversation is an important aspect of an anti bias and anti racist educator’s practice. It’s how we build rapport; it’s how relationships are developed. It’s a starting block to engage students and get to work toward developing a critical social consciousness.

Then, we said that ABAR must include LAUGHTER. It’s imperative to center & value joy in the classroom. We must do so in the books we choose, the topics we explore, and also in the mood we create. Your students should know that the class they have with you is one where they can laugh, be themselves, and relax. Your class together is not the one where guards should be up. 

Third, we said that ABAR must include PLAY. Consider how stiff and demanding our schools can be and how oppressive they can feel. ABAR teaching contrasts that. It sees their humanity and embraces it.

Lastly, we said that ABAR must include SPECIFIC LANGUAGEWhether it’s their names, yours, the words we use to talk about society, or the language they’re learning to address each other, make it about truth. ABAR teaching and learning must include the naming of truth. 



Teaching and learning for an anti bias antiracist purpose isn't a journey you have to take alone. We're here. Welcome to our classroom. 



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