Small Lesson Learned: Raised Hands | Stories From School

On the third day of school, everything kinda stalled.My 9th grade English class and I had plugging along quite nicely the first two days, and that day was no different. Then it happened: I asked a tough question about the story we’d just read.

No hands went up. Silence. 

 

Read on here: Small Lesson Learned: Raised Hands | Stories From School

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Five Things Not to Do During Black History Month | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

A reminder from Zaretta Hammond, author of Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. 

 

It happens every February. Yep, Black History Month. Some folks are asking if we should even have a Black History Month. That’s neither here nor there, but there are some things to avoid if this annual commemoration is to have any significance. Here are five guidelines I think we should take special care to follow: Five Things Not to Do During Black History Month | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

How to Nurture Empathic Joy in Your Classroom | Greater Good

 

VULNERABLE POST:

I’ve been thinking a lot about joy (since before the elections, by the way)—about how hungry I am for pure, unabashed joy in my life, how aware I am that although gratitude comes very easily to me, I’ve been missing joy. Not just moments, but sustained joy. I’m certainly happy with my life. But happy seems different from joyful. Sometimes, I worry that maybe I just don’t remember what joy feels like and let it pass me by without realizing. Being someone so attuned to gratitude, have I associated joy with some kind of extraordinary feeling in my body, and don’t notice that some moments of gratitude and peace are in fact moments of joy? Does joy have to be BIG, BOLD, LOUD, EXTRAORDINARY? Maybe not, but that’s what I’ve been missing: the exuberance of it compared to being happy. I’ve had some health issues that affected my lightness of being, and the current administration’s daily announcements about decisions that go against all the fibers of my being don’t help. So I am thinking about joy, about how to cultivate joy in my life, how not to become a black hole, how to spread the kind of joy I want to feel around me.

Given all that, the reading below is very timely for me. It’s a good reminder that “students perform better when teachers share in their joy” (this, according to a new study, which doesn’t feel new to me — are we surprised?). Maybe it helps some of you, too.

How to Nurture Empathic Joy in Your Classroom | Greater Good

Brain-Based Learning Strategies

Brain-based education is actually a “no-brainer.” Here’s a simple, but essential premise: the brain is intimately involved in, and connected with, everything educators and students do at school. Any disconnect is a recipe for frustration and potentially disaster. Brain-based education is best understood in three words: engagement, strategies and principles. You must engage your learners and do it with strategies that are based on real science. (I’m a big fan of cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and other mind/brain sciences).

What is brain-based education? It’s simple: it’s the engagement of strategies based on how our brain works.

Click through for Brain-Based Learning Strategies

Don’t Say Nothing | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice

“We may be uncomfortable talking about race, but we can no longer afford to be silent. We have chosen a profession, which—like parenting—requires that our comforts come second to those of children.”

Don’t Say Nothing | Teaching Tolerance – Diversity, Equity and Justice