As an organization, our mission is to use the lessons of history to challenge teachers and students to stand up to bigotry and hate. In this blog post, we share our learning (thus far) about how we can work to be anti-racist educators in hopes that this approach, the ideas, and the resources we’ve found helpful in our learning will be helpful to you, your colleagues and the students you teach.
This is part two of Amy Smith’s Blog The Road to Equity: How do you define equity? In part one she discussed her own learning journey of gaining additional knowledge about groups identified as in need of more support in schools in the equity and inclusion branch of Peel Board’s five year School Success Plan. All of her reading and learning encouraged her “to really reflect on the life I was living, and the privileges I have that I was not even aware of simply because I was born in a white, abled, cisgender body.” In part two she will cover how she took her own learning and expertise to help other educators start their journey, to start learning about who they are as people and how their privilege and bias impacts their students.
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” How many of us have heard this quote or a variation of it? Sayings like these are repeated so often nowadays that they have lost meaning. People will complain, “I don’t need you to lecture me, I already know all this,” “The past is the past, leave it behind where it belongs,” or a blatant dismissal from those who are so cemented in the now, that they refuse to see the truth right in front of them.
Topics: Student Voices, Choosing to Participate, Armenian Genocide, Students, Facing History and Ourselves, Holocaust Education, Rwanda, Student Work, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Equity in Education, Facing Canada
When I moved away from being a classroom teacher to the role of Instructional Coach I knew my passion was in equity work. In Peel we have a five year School Success Plan with one branch of focus dedicated to equity and inclusion. Within the equity and inclusion branch of the plan there are four communities identified as a focus for teachers to gain additional knowledge about in order to better teach and support those students to learn and be successful in Peel schools. The four groups are: students who identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community, First Nation, Metis and Inuit students, black male students, (this year the focus shifted to all black students) and students living in poverty.
Join us as we have a conversation with Lorrie Gallant, the Education Program Coordinator for the Woodland Cultural Centre (formerly the Mohawk Institute Residential School) about how survivors experience Orange Shirt Day, and what true engagement on this day can look like from education and beyond.
This interactive online video conversation is intended for Facing History and Ourselves educators to listen, to learn, and to share ideas and questions.
Date: Monday, Sep 24th.
Time: 3:30 - 4:15 PM EST
To join from your computer, tablet or phone, go to https://facinghistory.zoom.us/j/668270809 (you will need to download a Zoom app or program so give yourself 2 minutes to do so)
Or Dial in by phone: +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 668 270 809
No RSVP is required.
We hope you can all join us!
When I first found out I was teaching Families in Canada, a grade 12 Family Studies course, I immediately began to consider how I could embed Indigenous perspectives within my course. So often, as history teachers we tend to focus on significant events where Indigenous Peoples experience discrimination. What Facing History and Ourselves' pedagogy reminds me is to acknowledge the resiliency, distinctiveness and contemporary life of the many Indigenous peoples in Canada, their cultures and civilizations in my teaching. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to do both.
In spring of 2017, five high schools from across the GTA participated in “Decolonizing Schools Together,” a project started by Facing History and Ourselves’ Canadian office in consultation with Traditional Ojibway Grandmother, Kim Wheatley, Shkoden Neegan Waawaaskonen,of Shawanaga First Nation. Recently, we spoke to Kim and to the teachers who supported students through the Decolonizing Schools Together Project to share their reflections and progress.
How do I promote equity and inspire social justice as an educator when I’m not in a social studies or humanities classroom - or in a classroom at all? This was the question that both shifted and drove new passion into my work this past year as an Instructional Coach. Stepping out of the classroom this year was a transition. I was really missing the opportunity to inspire equity and social justice as I had in my classroom. As teachers requested my support, most often with math, I found myself starving for activism and ways to get involved in equity and inclusion beyond academic instruction. Then I went to a meeting that shifted my thinking, and gave me new insight into how I could continue to pursue equity and social justice no matter what the subject.