Pamela E. Donaldson, Facing History's Associate Program Director for Equity and Inclusion, and Laura Tavares, Program Director for Organizational Learning and Thought Leadership, recently published an article on the School Library Journal website. There, they offer educators an invitation into equity work within their own school communities centered around personal introspection and self-education, as well as collaborative learning and reflection with fellow teacher colleagues. Below is an excerpt from the piece:
Summer is here: a time when educators often have a chance to rest and reflect. That reset feels more needed than ever after this extraordinary school year. Educators have weathered a series of historic events, from the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted schooling to the massive protests sparked by racial violence and injustice. Many are relieved to leave behind the sense of upheaval and crisis that characterized the year—yet many don’t want to go back to “normal” either. As educators recommit to teaching for equity and justice, how can the space and time afforded by the summer offer an opportunity to begin to make meaningful and lasting changes?
At the global educational nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, we’ve been supporting hundreds of educators and schools all over the country who want to better serve all of their students. We understand, as the Due East Educational Equity Collaborative writes, that “Educational equity is about individuals, relationships, and systems. A school that is educationally equitable is one in which we value each individual for who they are and provide the structures, environment, and resources each student needs to reach their greatest potential.… Educational equity emphasizes the needs, experiences, and outcomes for underrepresented or marginalized students….” This work is critical to building more just schools—and indeed a more just society—that invite, support, and recognize the contributions of all.
We also understand that there’s no single roadmap to creating more equitable teaching: our journeys begin in different places and will follow different paths. But there are a few habits—including individual reflection and sustained conversation in the adult community—that are a key part of any journey. We explore them below, with ideas and resources to help you implement them in your own practice...
View the piece in its entirety at School Library Journal.
Facing History and Ourselves invites educators to join our upcoming webinar Centering Student Voices to Build Community and Agency on August 23rd.