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The Things We Carry How Our Past Impacts Our Classroom Mark Janda The Harker School

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1 The Things We Carry How Our Past Impacts Our Classroom Mark Janda The Harker School

2 Needed Norms Speak your truth Protect student privacy Honor the safety of others Be willing to take a risk Share openly and honestly Practice reflection

3 Desired Outcomes A new understanding of the barriers and invitations to building supportive student-teacher relationships Develop an awareness of our own backgrounds and how it impacts the lens through which we experience the world Reflect and build on what we learn and what we have already experienced.

4 Why is this an issue for me? Experiences in my first 10 yearsExperiences in my first 10 years –Students told me to do this Study of the achievement gapStudy of the achievement gap District and National LeadershipDistrict and National Leadership Listening to and watching studentsListening to and watching students Realization that you can’t be passively not-racist, I have to be actively anti-racistRealization that you can’t be passively not-racist, I have to be actively anti-racist

5 our backgrounds Why are our backgrounds important? -They are the fundamental building blocks of relationships -Both teachers and students carry backgrounds around like luggage, often unconsciously -They are subtle, powerful and culturally loaded -Our background and experiences directly impact our values, beliefs, and behaviors. -We bring these values, beliefs, and behaviors into the classroom with us each and every day. Our students come to us with their own unique set of values, beliefs, and behaviors. -To make the most of the opportunities we have to interact, it is essential that we reflect upon and openly share these belief systems. -Half the curriculum walks through the door when the students do. – Emily Style

6 relationships Why are relationships important? ResilientCharacteristics of Resilient People care for them –Have experienced people who care for them vision –Have a vision of the possibilities autonomy –Have a sense of autonomy wantEasier to be successful if you want to be vulnerability trustLearning requires vulnerability – which requires trust It is a student’s primary concern in the first two weeks and key to everything elseIt is a student’s primary concern in the first two weeks and key to everything else

7 How do we form relationships? Make it your focus at the beginning… –Early in the year –Early in every day/class Let yourself be vulnerable within your comfort zone. Invest in them, let them invest in you BUT…it’s easy to destroy the work it takes to build relationshipsBUT…it’s easy to destroy the work it takes to build relationships

8 Investigating Micro-aggressions One of those many sudden, stunning, or dispiriting transactions that mar the days of women and people of color, often triggered automatically or unconsciously.One of those many sudden, stunning, or dispiriting transactions that mar the days of women and people of color, often triggered automatically or unconsciously. Like water dripping on sandstone, they can be thought of as small acts of racism.Like water dripping on sandstone, they can be thought of as small acts of racism. An experiment…An experiment…

9 Think about the first thing that comes to mind… Marine Priest Police Single Mom New York Times Social Worker Fox News Homeless Male

10 Think about the first thing that comes to mind… African-AmericanRastafarian Puerto Rican MexicanEthiopianKoreanVietnamesePakistaniSouthernerMidwesterner New Yorker

11 Stages of Intercultural Sensitivity Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity. (Bennett, 1993). Denial-”I don’t have any negative racial thoughts.” Defence-”I may have thought that, but…” Minimization-”It doesn’t play a big role…” Acceptance-”I believe everyone has these thoughts.” Adaptation-”I will raise my awareness and respond…” Integration-”I will address this in my classroom…” Where are you?

12 Activity

13 Debrief

14 Observations and Responses -How did this make you feel? Were you comfortable? -What did you observe? -Surprises? -What might you have learned? -What did every single prompt have in common?

15 Observations and Responses -What happened the first time I did this -Number Line; they were colleagues -Wanda -George -What happened the first time I did this in a huge group -Using one to make a point to others -Doing it with students -Included some adults

16 First Steps Begin with the personalBegin with the personal –Examined assumptions, Privilege Walk Investigate your impact on othersInvestigate your impact on others Integrate new learning into the classroom settingIntegrate new learning into the classroom setting

17 Classroom Impact Culturally Responsive Teaching Creates a successful learning environment for children of all backgrounds and cultures.

18 “Cultural responsiveness is the ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own culture as well as those from other cultures. It includes adjusting your own and your organization’s behaviors based on what you learn. Cultural responsiveness is not something you master once and then forget… cultural responsiveness is not about trying to change others to be more like you. It is about cultivating an open attitude and new skills in yourself. Cultural responsiveness involves exploring and honoring your own culture, while at the same time learning about and honoring other people’s cultures.”“Cultural responsiveness is the ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people of your own culture as well as those from other cultures. It includes adjusting your own and your organization’s behaviors based on what you learn. Cultural responsiveness is not something you master once and then forget… cultural responsiveness is not about trying to change others to be more like you. It is about cultivating an open attitude and new skills in yourself. Cultural responsiveness involves exploring and honoring your own culture, while at the same time learning about and honoring other people’s cultures.” Excerpted from Empowering Skills for Family Workers: The Comprehensive Curriculum of the New York State Family Development Credential (1996). Christian Dean. New York: Cornell Empowering Families Project. Defining Cultural Responsiveness The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt), a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs

19  Be willing to reexamine your teaching pedagogy and make it relevant to your students.  Be someone who deeply cares about your students.  Be a student-centered teacher, which means taking an interest in your students’ community and making positive contact with their parents.  Be willing to learn about cultures other than your own. To Be A Culturally Responsive Teacher, You Need To:

20 Expectations When these students walk in, what do we anticipate? What are our plans to help this student succeed? Do we have high expectations for each of them? Is a C for one as good as an A for another? How do appearances affect our expectations?

21 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating –Incorporates multicultural resources embedded in curriculum and instruction

22 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating Comprehensive –Recognizes the importance of maintaining cultural identity and heritage

23 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating Comprehensive Multidimensional –Involves every element of the classroom experience for student and teacher

24 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating Comprehensive Multidimensional Empowering –Enables students to be better human beings and successful learners

25 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating Comprehensive Multidimensional Empowering Transformative –Recognizes cultural gifts as contributions to collective learning and promotes student reflection and decision-making

26 Culturally Responsive Teaching is… Validating Comprehensive Multidimensional Empowering Transformative Emancipating –Makes authentic knowledge accessible to all students

27 Real tangible ideas Artifacts Why are you here? Shake hands Speak to every one of them How are you? Begin with concern for them Smile, say hello Be real Tell them what you think Know their activitiesKnow their activities Attend their games and plays and concertsAttend their games and plays and concerts Visit their restaurantsVisit their restaurants Know something about pop cultureKnow something about pop culture Ask questionsAsk questions Self-deprecating humorSelf-deprecating humor Be open, let them like you, be vulnerableBe open, let them like you, be vulnerable

28 What works? Clear directions Increased wait time Vocabulary, 12 verbs Praise, You’re better… Model the Tests Validation and relevance Use what’s there Simplify – but do not dumb down Make it Personal…no one cares more Have a strong sense of self- identity and be willing to share it

29 What works? High Expectations, but kids must know you care. Encouragement Encouragement is more important to minorities and lower-quartile students than demand, but encouragement must be made explicit. Teachers must be clear that they are willing to help – and will enjoy it. They must want to help and like it. We have to practice both mastery and effort; we must help and encourage, but demand success –Ronald Ferguson

30 What works? Want the work done? –Do it in class. Difficulty reading? –Read to and with them Highlighting and note- taking? –Model it. Inner-Reading voices –model it and be honest Help kids overcome their backgrounds and avoid situations in which one background will have an advantage. – Are we flexible enough to accommodate kids’ needs?

31 What works? Classrooms with high achievement and small gaps, kids say my teacher… Classrooms with high achievement and small gaps, kids say my teacher… – Provides help and encouragement – Makes learning enjoyable – Provides multiple explanations – Is available after school (or some other additional time) for extra help – Sends out monthly letters to parents Ronald Ferguson Ronald Ferguson

32 What works? Kids in rooms with high achievement and small gaps say… – My teacher likes it when I ask questions. – My teacher is nice to me when I ask questions. – My teacher is happy to help me with my work. – In our class, it is very important to get everything correct. – In our class, getting the right answers is very important. Ronald Ferguson Ronald Ferguson

33 What works? To get high achievement from previously low- performing students we need to… – 1. Scaffold learning on prior knowledge. – 2. Present organizing schemas & frameworks. – 3. Make key connections—don’t assume students will discover them on their own. – 4. Apply concepts in multiple ways and varied contexts to increase the number of possible connections. – 5. Teach children how to think and learn. Ronald Ferguson Ronald Ferguson

34 What works? Larry Bell says we must keep this in mind… 7+ Common Mistakes of loving, caring Teachers – They discipline some, punish the at-promise – They teach the way they learned or like best – They think different means wrong – They don’t help students overcome poverty – They don’t explain why the content is important – They think teaching all backgrounds is not important – They show little humor or passion – They accept mediocrity – They are in denial

35 What works? Teach resilience Resilient people: – Have experienced people who care for them. – Have a vision of the possibilities. – Have a sense of autonomy, “can- do-it-ness.” WE have to be this and we have to teach this

36 What works? Gloria Ladson-Billings says… – Teaching all well means… – All can learn – Treating them like they’re competent and they will be – Scaffolding – The classroom focus is on instruction – Real education is about extending students thinking and abilities – Effective teaching involves in-depth knowledge of both the students and the subject matter – The key is effort in context of high expectations – Having socio-political consciousness – Having an investment in the public good

37 What works? Gloria Ladson-Billings says… – Student Learning/Teacher Success depends on teachers having… High Academic Achievement High Academic Achievement Strong Cultural Competence Strong Cultural Competence Socio-Political Consciousness of their role for closing the gap, improving society/community, and making a difference Socio-Political Consciousness of their role for closing the gap, improving society/community, and making a difference

38 What works? Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum says… – Explicitly explain that intelligence is fluid, subject to effort

39 Closing Thoughts… "What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Anything else is narrow and unlovely." –John Dewey “I tried to coach each player as if he wanted to marry my daughter.” “I tried to coach each player as if he wanted to marry my daughter.” –Eddie Robinson, legendary Grambling football coach "We can whenever and wherever we choose successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need in order to do this. Whether we do must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far." –Ron Edmonds Teach them like they’re somebody’s baby

40 Closing Thoughts… The Mediocre teacher tells.The Mediocre teacher tells. The Good teacher explains.The Good teacher explains. The Superior teacher demonstrates.The Superior teacher demonstrates. The Great teacher inspires.The Great teacher inspires. –-William Arthur Ward Our task is to provide an education to the kinds of kids we have, not the kinds of kids we used to have or the kids we have in our dreams.Our task is to provide an education to the kinds of kids we have, not the kinds of kids we used to have or the kids we have in our dreams. –Eleanor Rodriguez

41 Resources Lisa Delpit’s Other Peoples’ Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom and The Skin That We Speak: Thoughts on Language and Culture in the Classroom Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum’s Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race Gary Howard’s We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools Larry Bell’s Closing the Achievement Gap, Education Leadership, December 2002 Peggy McIntosh, “ Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” Julie Landsman’s A White Teacher Talks About Race Pamela Perry’s Shades of White: White Kids and Racial Identities in High School Dr. Sampson Davis, Dr. George Jenkins, Dr. Rameck Hunt and Lisa Frazier Page’s The Pact, Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream Dr. Belinda Williams’ Closing the Achievement Gap: A Vision for Changing Beliefs and Practices Bonnie Davis, Ronald Ferguson, The Tripod Project Marva Collins Glenn Singleton, Pacific Educational Group Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu Larry Bell The Education Trust,

42 Thank You! Questions? me at or and join a conversation at my blog,

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