LC 3

The first reading assigned for us was, Creating Classrooms for Equity and Social Justice. This part is about how to create a more hopeful classroom for all the children, by making your classroom a social justice classroom. Then it lists out the ways you can make the classroom a social justice classroom making it grounded in the students’ lives, being conducive to critical thinking and questions being asked, teaching from a multicultural perspective, culturally and linguistically you can make the room inclusive and empowering, teaching anti-racism, encouraging a pro-justice mindset, and participation in the classroom. You also should make your classroom hopeful, joyful, kind, visionary, encourage students to become activists to change the world, and of course, academically rigorous. This can be done through various classroom activities and minding how you teach materials to do these things.

The next reading was Black is Beautiful. Black is Beautiful is the story of a teacher who wanted to teach her children how to celebrate black history, culture, and people. The teacher, Kara Stroman, when thinking about the more superficial ways to shoe black history month, with posters that disappear the day the month ends, she found the 70’s book Black is Beautiful. The book was a poem across pages describing things that are black and beautiful. When she read this poem to the class and asked what they noticed, they did not understand the takeaway of how it was about the black people, not the black objects which they noticed. Once Stroman described the black beauty in the pictures the kids started understanding more of the point. When confronted by a student asking “why not all colors?” She gave him more information, about the people they were learning about, the importance of teaching this. And he tried his best to understand that he was hurting others.

Finally there is the passage, Seeing Ourselves in Our Own Eyes. The author Katy Alexander is a special education teacher, who while preparing for the next school year was thinking about how needing special education can cause students to have a low self esteem, and be worth less in their eyes. She thought back to grad school to a poem she read called “Why am I so Brown” she decided to have her children have the poem read to them by her, then watched a group of latinx students from another school read it. When it was seen by the native Spanish speakers it got across much better, due to part of the play being in Spanish. This got the kids excited and to share their opinions. after discussion and some google translate, the kids were told to write their own poem in a similar way, listing things about yourself. When listing her list Katy Alexander had put down fat on her list. Some of the students who thought of this word in a negative light protested, but Katy explained how it can be used in a neutral way depending on the person. Afterwards the kids wrote their own lists. After they were done, Katy read her list, which had by now been put into a poem, to the class. After this example had been set, the class started writing their own poems. They took a few days with Katy helping them write and come up with ideas. Finally they all read aloud their poems, and wrote a complement for each othes’, and it was a great experience for all of them to think about what they can do, not what they can’t.

For the first reading we focused on our ideal classrooms as students, after talking about the different things you can do with it. Next for Black is Beautiful we focused on the why it is such an important idea. Then, we had the groups write down or talk about things they can think of the are black and beautiful. Finally, we talked about the self esteem problems that can be addressed as they were in Seeing Ourselves With Our Own Eyes, and had them in groups talk about things they see themselves as, and give each other compliments. I was the one who came up with the Black is Beautiful activity, and also helped with that slide. I was supposed to read that one but there was some confusion so I ended up getting switched to the Seeing Ourselves With Our Own Eyes activity instead. Our main reference was the reading out of the book.