Responding to Racism in the Classroom
Ms. Kawi, an ELA teacher and coach at Aspire Bay Area shared this guide for responding to racism in the classroom, highlighting that “being an antiracist educator involves what you teach as well as how you teach.” These tips offer how to respond to racism in the classroom (this even applies to how to respond to it in the office too).
Stop! Even if this interrupts the flow of your lesson.
Make sure you interrupt and address racist language and/or thinking – even if you just started class, are in the middle of your best lesson, have an observer, etc.
Probe! Take an inquiry stance. Be solutions-oriented.
Can you tell me more?
What do you mean by that?
What makes you think that?
I’m wondering what makes you say that.
Where have you seen/heard that messaging?
*Public shaming is neither inquiry-stanced or solutions-oriented.
Call it our and give it a name.
It’s not okay. That’s not okay because _____.
It’s racist to ______ because _____.
What you said implies that ______.
That’s anti-black. That’s anti-black because ______.
Be sure to contextualize and explain for students. You want them to learn from this so provide an opportunity to make a connection. Make it concrete.
Given the impact, you might:
Teach a mini-lesson
Engage in a whole-group reading
Plan and facilitate a restorative justice circle
Give students the opportunity to journal
Have 1:1 check-in
How you respond to racism in the classroom matters and contributes to its culture. Have a plan for how you respond and how to restore!
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Being an antiracist educator involves what you teach as well as how you teach. Antiracist educators call out racism in the classroom (and outside it) and are committed to doing it. How you respond matters. Inaction is not the response. Here are some offerings for how to do so. #teachersofinstagram #socialjusticeeducation #teacherresources #antiracism #antiracisteducation #teachersofcolor #oaklandteachers #whiteteachers #backtoschool #decolonize #pedagogy #teacherresources #studentcentered #learning #blacklivesmatter #blm #classroom #curriculum #studentsofcolor #equity #teachersofoakland #abolitionistteaching #teachersofcolor #teacherideology #learning #teaching #literacy #mythofmeritocracy #ideology #decolonizeyourmind #antiracisteducator
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