Echo Chambers

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Echo Chambers by Mind Map: Echo Chambers

1. Rita Pearson said it best, "Kids do not learn from people they don't like"

2. The idea of struggling productively is one that most students and young kids struggle with grasping. Our kids and even us at their age, didn't believe in struggling in the moment to receive benefits in the long run. We as kids always wanted immediate results. However, this concept is super super important when it comes to the students we teach. They need to understand that sometimes they will have to make sacrifices but all these struggles are productive..a good example of this is pursuing a higher education as a first gen. students. Furthermore. in a less broader sense this idea of struggling productively is one that is super super important in math class. the idea of inquiry tasks is for students to struggle so that they can understand and grasp the formula or the concept/big idea of the day Promoting Productive Struggle in Math

3. The Power of Relationships in Schools

3.1. Last year I felt one of my few successful goals of my first year teaching were the relationships I built with my students. I think because so little was in my control and my management skills were lacking I relied heavily on my personal relationships with my kids to leverage when I needed things to happen in the lessons. Over summer upon reflection I do feel that I need to find a better balance between management and personal relationships because they can also change the tone of the classroom and challenge authority in an unproductive way. Even as an organization the leadership has fallen in to this pattern as well. There is a big push for straight talk and accountability. The balance is vital to successful learning, I hope to maintain that better this year.

4. Students Leading Classroom Discussions

5. I constantly try to add scaffolding techniques especially at this point of the year, where I am still learning the students levels. This photo is a good tool for different scaffolding techniques.

6. Mine! The Power of Ownership | Bruce Hood | TEDxSouthampton

7. I wanted to connect this idea to my own echo chamber of the scaffolding theory because I think that both of these ideas really maximize on student potential and capability, regardless of what something seems like on the surface. Both ideas go off of this concept that if we give students the tools, strategies, and responsibility they need they are capable of doing work that might seem "too difficult," when in fact they just need this trust and ability to stretch their capabilities.

8. Social Thinking

9. Teach For America... where do I start? While a lot can be said regarding TFA and its mission, perhaps the greatest message I perpetuate is the Teacher as Change Agent which has the flip-side of Teacher as Problem. E.g. Problem in class? Teacher can solve it! = Problem in class? Teacher's fault. Tenuous relationship with this one.

10. Opportunity Gap

11. Language Games. Ideas about how we communicate, how we fundamentally understand one another. (Watch about minute 4 onward for the tl;dr version)

12. I'm a hopeless ~romantic~. Humans are fundamentally good. See link for information on Rousseau; related to the tried-and-true high school due Hobbes & Locke.

13. Social Emotional Learning

13.1. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) should be an important part of every child's day. That being said, skills learned in SEL should be applied and practiced throughout the day in order to reinforce important concepts including self-management, self-awareness, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness. Students need these skills and practice with these skills in order to be successful in school in every facet - socially, emotionally, and academically. This goes along with the concept that students cannot fully focus on academic learning until their social and emotional needs are met.

14. Scaffolding

14.1. What Went Wrong With Teach For America

14.1.1. Connectivism

14.1.2. While I completely understand the sentiment to not liking TFA because of the many problems, I also ask myself what other solutions are there for teacher shortages in urban schools? As of right now, TFA is one of the only ways to get teachers into urban schools because of their notoriety. I wonder what other possibilities are there to attract people to teach in places like the Greater Philadelphia Region. Is it higher pay? More secure positions? More stable administrations? I do not know the answer.

14.2. Students learn well through a model of gradual responsibility and lessons that are structured this way help to support students (I do, we do, you do.)

15. Restorative Justice

15.1. Students deserve a good morning before they deserve a demerit, correction or consequence. This idea of restorative justice in the schools we teach is super important. Our students constantly feel unable to explain themselves and constantly subjected to harsh rules in laws that inturn hurt our students. Although these rules were intended to the opposite they are in turn contributing to the achievement gap and keeping many of our schools out of school due to harsh punitive school rules. the following is a great resource on restorative practices that can be implemented in classrooms and even on a school wide culture level.

15.2. Dealing with issues that arise in school in punitive ways does not actually help the issue at it's core. In order to understand why certain rules and norms are in place, students need to be able to see how their actions affect others. They need to be given space in which to voice themselves, to be heard, and to talk to each other. Without these opportunities, students only learn to do (or not to do) things because of the consequences that may come with them, rather than developing a deeper understanding of what is acceptable and what might be harmful to others.

16. ET Connects to HH: I felt immediately struck by the inclusion of The Hidden Curriculum in this web. Just recently I helped someone who has 0 experience in education or education research approach a new class in sociology. One of their papers required they analyze the attached video as part of the assignment. One thing lead to another, and a paper originally analyzing the opportunity gap became an investigation of the Hidden Curriculum as the person I was helping interrogate their own school profile compared to those afforded to low-income, urban communities.

17. Authenticity in the Classroom:

17.1. As a first year teacher, you view veteran teachers and try to use the same tools and teaching techniques they use to succeed in the classroom. Though doing this helps in your first year, understanding that you as the teacher need to be authentic and use techniques that match your personality and values is key to succeeding.

17.2. I remember

18. Productive Struggle

19. ELL students and Special Education: A large percentage of the school I teach at consists of ELL students and I constantly question whether these students are receiving the right resources to succeed in class. Last year I had an ELL student that also had an IEP that I struggled to provide adequate assistance for. This student ultimately was performing on grade level for math but no one was able to effectively advocate for him. As an ELL student growing up myself, it often felt to me that I was ostracized and singled out in schools. I had the privilege of my ELL teacher also being a Korean American woman but this is not the case for all students.

19.1. Charter Schools: Coming into TFA and being placed in a large charter network such as Mastery started my teaching career with many concerns. Originally I did not know much of anything about charter schools and then began to explore the deep-rooted problems both through Teach for America and Penn. I often still find myself challenging what it means to teach at a charter school considering both the benefits that my students and their families have gained as well as the large picture concerns that are raised in education as an institution.

19.1.1. I could not agree more with some of the responses I am reading. I even remember joking with one of my co-workers about the feedback model we are supposed to be using at our school. I said it would be amazing if before we walked into this school they could just suck out all the emotion out of us. Exchanges between coaches and teachers are dry and like business exchanges. Although this system does work- it feels unauthentic. But, I think that those of us that are employed for charter schools tend to forget that we are working for businesses at the end of the day.The Promises Charter Schools Don't Make

19.2. As a special education teacher, I see the effects of this every day and I think it is incredibly important to be aware of and work to go against this narrative. I also think it's really important to think about who we refer for services, and what we refer them based on. When we look at our population of special education students in comparison to our general school's demographic, if they don't match up, there is some serious self-reflection that needs to take place.

20. Race and Identity in Schools: Education has historically been another institution in which racial categories have been defined, reinforced, and reproduced. Racial integration and diversity within schools often seems to be a superficial fix to a larger problem when non-white students face different treatment and opportunities than their white peers. Additionally, an overwhelmingly white faculty at many schools leads to a disconnect between students and staff.

21. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in Schools: In order to be successful and happy students, children first require their most basic needs to be met. Providing children with their basic needs is often only considered the responsibility of the parent/guardian but when children spend 7 hours per day and 5 days per week at schools, these needs also become the responsibility of schools.

21.1. I wanted to connect this idea to my own echo chamber centered around the importance of having an SEL curriculum in school. The fundamental reason behind why I think this is so important goes right along with the idea of meeting certain needs for students first. While I am not talking about basic needs such as food, water, and safety, I do believe that the concepts of self worth and self control come as underlying basic needs before academics can be learnt.

22. Relationships: An echochamber that has been reinforced time and time again through the situations and experiences I have had in life, at my job, and with my students is the importance of relationships. Most schools focus on zero tolerance and punitive practices that do more harm than good. The importance of building relationships with your co-workers and students can easily make a school function smoothly. Furthermore, if as educators we focused more on relationships rather than following punitive practices we could leverage student personalities in our classroom.

22.1. I'm really glad that you brought zero tolerance policies. I have found that often time these policies, while good in theory, don't allow space for mediation and. communication to work through problems. This can leave students feeling unsure of exactly where they went wrong and how to avoid similar conflicts in the future. It can be difficult when you need to follow school policy that may conflict with your personal views on education. I've found that while still enforcing these policies, we can carve out a space of our own to allow student mediation and communication.

23. Ownership:Another echo-chamber that plays a huge role in the school I teach in is ownership. Ownership plays a role in mostly all parts of our lives. If we cannot take ownership of our faults and shortcomings in front of our students they will fail to recognize we are human and will fail to take ownership of their shortcomings themselves. Furthermore, Ownership allows an individual to accept feedback and change the outcome to one that they desire.

24. This echo-chamber of self care is one that is super important to me and many of the individuals I work with. Without taking care of ourselves or finding our therapy, we would be unable to show up as the teachers our students need.

24.1. How to practice emotional first aid | Guy Winch

24.1.1. The echo chamber of self care I extremely important for ourselves and our students. Many of our students today have suffered through a traumatic experience or know someone who has. Even if our students have not experienced first hand trauma, they may be experiencing second hand trauma. Along with that, as teachers, we may experience second hand trauma from seeing them every day and experiencing this journey alongside them. It is imperative that we not only practice self care ourselves but that we also teach our students how to practice self care as well. By teaching our students different self care and coping strategies we are not only showing them the important of self care but we are modeling it for them.

24.2. Last year, when I thought of self care, I thought of sitting and doing nothing for hours. Though this is relaxing at times, I later realized self care is more than this. I needed to find things to do for myself that made me happy and took my mind off the stress of school. Activities like yoga really helped me to care for myself.

25. Awareness:

26. Awareness: In all arenas of life it is extremely important for individuals to be aware of how they show up in spaces. Some of us are unaware with the privilege that exists with our identity/race and how that affects others when we say certain things. We must be always be aware and open to feedback. We must be aware of how certain practices in a classroom can or will make students feel. We must be aware of the speech and tone we use with our students and co-worker

26.1. Increase your self-awareness with one simple fix | Tasha Eurich | TEDxMileHigh

26.1.1. I loved this TED talk, and I cannot think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from simply changing "why" to "what." In our practice reflection is essential to improving our skills to benefit the students, but I do at times focus too heavily on the wrong parts of my day. I hope a simple change to "what" as my starter rather than "why" will help shift my mindset from focusing on why some part of my lesson went poorly or why a student acted as they did, to what went well or what can I do to improve my students' learning experiences.

27. Effective Teaching Methods

27.1. Teachers need to be completely involved in their learning to fully grasp the information we expect them to learn. Think about it, how fun was if school when we were only asked to regurgitate facts to pass a test. We learned the most when we were asked to use our creativity to win a science fair or create a holiday and explain why it should be celebrated. Teaching requires educators to incorporate students in their learning on a consistent basis.

27.1.1. This makes me think of using guided inquiry in the classroom.I sometimes take a lesson that maybe difficult for students and use guided inquiry to get them thinking critically and creatively. It also helps them see my way of thinking while reading and serves as a model thought process. Along with that, it gives the student ownership over their education and the opportunity to get to. the answer on their own.

28. Punishment as a Disservice

28.1. Punishing minority students at a disproportionate rate further perpetuates the notion that they will be less likely to achieve as much as their white counterparts. Instead of considering why these students are lashing out and misbehaving, school administrations promise to chastise them in a manner similar to the prison system. Students need to learn and be supported, not robbed of their chance of creating a better future for themselves. educators and administrators must think before we act and students will follow suit.

29. Technology: the Great Equalizer

29.1. Technology grants students of all backgrounds access to a plethora of information that is otherwise out of reach for most. The next step is to ensure that the quality of technology provided in urban schools matches up with the technology provided in suburban school districts.

30. From Rethinking Schools: An Open Letter to New Teach For America Recruits

30.1. Being a part of Teach for America has made me feel incredibly uneasy from day one. From the articles of former corps members as well as veteran teachers and community members expressing their disdain for the program it is apparent that TFA creates strife in the already contentious world of education. Additionally, watching white corps member after white corps member quit the program in the middle of the year and leave students without an educator has shown to me firsthand just how toxic this program can be to students and communities in urban settings. Articles such as "An Open Letter to New Teach for America Recruits" calling them to quit is sometimes how I feel about incoming corps members. However, so much of the focus is placed on corps members that use this program to advance their professional careers outside of education, is there any way to refocus the narrative on TFA corps members turned lifelong teachers to make the program better for students in urban schools?

31. Use of Mindfulness in the Classroom

32. Three Legged Stool of Success: The support and relationships to the families of our children is highly important. Within my school we call this the "Three Legged Stool". In order for us to help the student succeed, we need help from the student, the teachers and the families.

32.1. Student Success and the Three Legs on the Education Stool

32.2. I love the visual and the idea of the "Three Legged. Stool". While many school emphasize the importance of family, they also tend to not teach teachers how to better build that relationship with parents or guardians. Has your school provided specific advice for how to do so?

33. Empathy In the classroom: As a new teacher I have been told to "be mean until October". This rhetoric is one that many new teachers hear and equates respect with power and fear. This creates an early on classroom environment of hiegherarcy, uncomfortability and distain for many students.

33.1. For Educators: How to Build Empathy and Strengthen Your School Community — Making Caring Common

33.1.1. Modeling empathy for students is essential but easier said than done, as we are all humans and make mistakes. My school's idea of a supportive community does not extend as far as I wish it did. I wish we had more school wide programming regarding empathy and what it means. I don't find that we have a negative school culture, but I don't think students are as supported as they actually need to be. I definitely think this involves a lot of reflection and collaboration as well as a plan to execute school wide with fidelity. Tough when there is such high pressure for performance, not just building well rounded individuals.

33.2. Five Steps to Create a Progressive, Student-Centered Classroom | ASCD Inservice

33.2.1. "Don't smile til November" is a phrase that I have also heard frequently at the start of my first year of teaching. Too often being strict becomes conflated proper classroom management. Being able to manage a classroom is not simply about power, control, and fear but rather creating a classroom environment of respect between students as well as between teacher and student. Power and control draw strong parallels to the traditional classroom in which teachers are at the center and students are treated as empty vessel in which knowledge is deposited. Having empathy in the classroom on the other hand creates a space in which progressive models of teaching in which students and their thinking become front and center. Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Zinn Education Project

34. Mismatch of race between students and teachers of color: There has been a lot of research on racial mismatch of black students and white teachers. As a non-black teacher of color, I wonder how my racial mismatch is affecting my classroom.

34.1. Furthermore, the racial mismatch of white teachers and non-black students of color.

34.2. I'm really glad that you brought this up! My situation is slightly different, being a white woman with a classroom of predominately black students. I often think about how my students are responding to me and how I may be having an effect on them. I found that, being an ELA teacher, one. thing that has benefited my classroom greatly is representation in my library. Making sure that my students have powerful women and men of color to serve as role models, authors, and protagonists in their stories.

34.2.1. I also feel this way in my school that is majority Latinx. I am able to connect with my students through our mutual knowledge of the Spanish language, but I am constantly seeking better ways to connect with my students and their families. I think at time this affects my students' trust in me.

35. Educational Consequences: Before going to teach I remember distinctly a teacher telling me to only give reading. packets. Her explanation was rooted in the fact that her class talked too much and was. disrespectful. So when they began the lesson, if they got too loud or "unruly" she would simply hand out packets of their work to complete. This line that lies between behavioral consequence and academic consequence is one that bothers me. Students should not be punished academically for how they may struggle behaviorally in a classroom. Their learning should not be compromised or used as a reward and consequence system.

35.1. Cultural Competence: As educators it is our responsibility to educate ourselves on the many different cultures we may find in our classroom. This spans across the board from macro to micro level cultural differences. We also have a responsibility to create and build cultural competence within our classroom and expand it outward into our school.

35.1.1. Cultural competency is connected to my own echo chamber of race and identity in schools. More specifically, and importantly, cultural competence is crucial when schools have become an institution in which racial categories, expectations, and stereotypes are being reproduced. Cultural competency can also easily be misinterpreted and misrepresented by white teachers and it is truly important that we are able to distinguish accountability from appropriation and tokenization. For example, making assumptions and generalizations about student and their cultures can prove to be offensive even if a teacher meant well. Cultural Competence for Massage Professionals (2 CEs) - Premier Continuing Education

35.2. How Leaders Can Improve Their Schools’ Cultural Competence

36. Religion in the Classroom: As a teacher in a charter school, we do not teach outright religion but many of my students religious culture comes to play within the classroom. I wonder how I can add religion within my lesson without crossing the line.

36.1. My question to you is what line are you concerned about crossing. I know as teachers we are not supposed to be preaching a religion, but I see that as very different than incorporating it into the classroom for the sake of your students. I think one thing you could do to start is acknowledge religious holidays that are not just Christian holidays. While it is no where near enough to begin to make students feel comfortable in the classroom, it opens a conversation for all students about celebrations and belief systems.

37. Asking "why" 5 times: As educators we are taught to think on the fly but a practice that I implemented after somewhat of an awakening has allowed my classroom dynamic to change completely. Asking why 5 times, whether. to yourself or your students, opens up dialogue and can help overcome some implicit biases you may have.


37.2. 5 Whys: Getting to the Root of a Problem Quickly

37.3. This is a great idea to begin dialogue in the classroom. How did you begin to implement this strategy? I feel like many students are not use to this type of questioning, so it would be uncomfortable fo r them to answer. Did you scaffold the questions in a specific way? How did you deal with student pushback to the questions?

37.3.1. The main thing for me was being very aware of my tone and body language. Those two things can take the conversation from "I'm asking because I care and want to know" to an interrogation really quickly. I also sometimes ask myself this question internally before giving feedback to a student. An example of when I didn't ask why:A student had a very nasty look on her face and I immediately went to the idea that it was attitude toward me. When in reality, she just couldn't see the board. Going forward, I always try to ask myself why the student may be doing that a few times. It slowdown my immediate reaction and allows men to think about how to approach it.

38. Allowing choice in the classroom: Allowing choice gives students the freedom to showcase their abilities while also showing them that their voice matters and is valued in the classroom.

38.1. Differentiating by Offering Choices

39. The rise of white supremacy and all its manifestations is a topic that consistently circulates in my mind due to my experience as a person of color. As the video states, white supremacists no longer wear white hoods, but rather dress like everyday professionals now. When reading research by white individuals, I instinctively begin to wonder the racist implications that may be underlying the data.

40. Capitalism and Urban Schools as a Business


41. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy TrillEDU: Culturally Responsive Pedagogy... | Jeffrey Dessources | TEDxNewJerseyCityUniversity

42. Bootstrap Theory- Coming from an underprivileged community, I sometimes fall into this mindset because I was able to "make it out of the hood."

42.1. Challenging The Bootstrap Myth | Antonio Valdés | TEDxPhiladelphia

43. Hidden Curriculum - I also favor this theory because it helps explains the socialization of children of color and the oppressive structures that socialize them. What is the Hidden Curriculum?

44. Educational Accessibility for IEP Students and ELLs What to do first: Creating a welcoming ELL classroom environment

44.1. As students who are marginalized in various ways, I believe that ELL students and IEP students should be at the forefront of every teacher's mind when planning anything for their classroom (along with other marginalized communities).

45. Homophobia and Heterosexism in Academia

45.1. Homophobia and/or Heterosexism - what's the difference - ABBI

45.1.1. This makes me reflect upon my school's environment and the outspokenness of my students as well as their interactions. These mindsets and actions are highly detrimental to my students growth and personal relationships, but are pervasive especially among middle schoolers.

46. White Guilt and White Fragility


47. Collaborative Learning

47.1. Collaborative learning is based on the idea that learning is made more enjoyable when students can rely on one another to digest new information in a meaningful way. Even when subject matter is challenging, they can lean on other peers for support.

47.2. Using a heavily scripted curriculum originally left me feeling like i had very little opportunity to build a collaborative learning environment. Additionally, it has been a learning experience for me to find the balance between collaborative learning and miniscule group work. I really like the red light green light strategy in the linked article because it can be applied to environments of any subject. I also notice my students yearning for the freedom to work together, but I think i struggle with establishing and maintaining norms around collaboration.,

48. Constructive Intervention

48.1. Students deserve constructive feedback. It allows for them to develop and grow cognitively. The more you show that you care about their learning, the more likely they will be less afraid to fail. Teachers are responsible for guiding students to the top, not letting them continue working to in order to stay busy.

49. Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson

50. Every kid needs a champion | Rita Pierson

51. The power relationships is often over looked and underestimated in public schools today, especially when the school culture is overwhelmingly "us vs them" in terms of the relationships between teachers and students. In my experience, I wouldn't have been half the teacher I was last year without the relationship I had with my students.

52. Self care is absolutely one of my echo chambers. I need constant reminders and I am constantly trying to reach out to other teachers. It is so easy to put all you have into your school, especially when you work at a high-needs school. It is so easy to fall down the rabbit hole. With the current rates of teacher burn out, self care becomes even more critical for those of us who would really like to survive and thrive in the profession. But even one week into school it's easy to already fall into the rhythm of being at school from 7 am to 6:30 pm.

53. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

54. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy There is a critical need for culturally relevant pedagogy in the public school system. Through experience, I have learned that students are able to understand content matter more easily when it is connected to topics that they already know and understand. CRP should be used not only in ELA, but also in Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science. The following clip is a video that explains the importance of CRP in mathematics.

55. An equal balance of procedural and conceptual is one of the foundations of my math class, although "equal" isn't the right word. I definitely gear my students more towards conceptual, but we start every lesson with the procedural. I think this practice mirrors a lot of the significance of scaffolding. For example, starting my lesson on a level everyone can get in on, and then adjusting practices as we go. It's one small thing I do--only taking up about 15 minutes of instructional time--but it makes a huge difference in my class. Procedural Fluency in Mathematics - National Council of Teachers of Mathematics I've included an article that dives deeper into the benefits of procedural fluency and the case for "saving" the process of procedure in conjunction with conceptual.

56. H

57. Mindfulness programs such as through Class Dojo has been such a game changer for my classroom. We have 10 minutes of mindfulness every day after lunch, and the effect it has had on behaviors in my classroom has been off the charts. Increase in student engagement, decrease in behavioral referrals, decrease in class cuts, and increase in positive attitude among students. After looking more into the benefits of a more mindfulness-centered classroom, here's an article which focuses on the effects of mindfulness on perceived levels of stress among school-children from lower Socioeconomic backgrounds: ERIC - EJ1085614 - An Exploratory Study of the Effects of Mindfulness on Perceived Levels of Stress among School-Children from Lower Socioeconomic Backgrounds, International Journal of Emotional Education, 2014-Nov

58. Positive Reinforcement Instead of Negative Discipline From readings and experience, I found that the most effective way to get my students to understand and follow positive behaviors is when they are positively reinforced. Positive reinforcement in my classroom is reinforced using the Class Dojo application. My only concern with using Class Dojo as a tool for success is that my students strive to gain the most points. This affects their learning because at times my students will not truly understand the reason why they received a point.

59. In my experience, my students are much more responsive to positive reinforcement than negative, and this has been a topic I am constantly debating with other teachers at my school who have criticized my classroom management skills for being too "nice". As a school we use class dojo, which can be a really useful tool; however, I strongly dislike that students can lose points that they have earned. In my opinion, if in one moment a student makes a good decision, they should be rewarded for it. If ten minutes later, the same student is put in another situation and makes a 'bad' decision, that shouldn't negate the fact that the made a good decision just 10 minutes prior. In my experience, it has led to students getting frustrated and refusing to make any good choices since they will just be punished the moment they make a not so good choice.The Power of Positivity | Brain Games This is one of my favorite videos to show about the power of positivity!

60. "We must Maslow before we bloom" is one of my favorite quotes which I hope reflects in my pedagogy, my classroom, and in myself as an educator. The quote is in reference to both Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Bloom's taxonomy, a hierarchical model used to classify educational learning objectives by levels of complexity and specificity.

61. Class Dojo in the Classroom and its Effect on Learning Class Dojo is used in my classroom to connect with parents, the school, the community, and to reinforce positive behavior. On the first day of school, my students and I went over why they need to follow directions and many of their responses were “to get a dojo point.” This statement concerned me and I made a point to discuss the implications of their behavior and its connection to their dojo points.

62. Students Leading Classroom Discussions Classwide discussions should be implemented in every classroom because students should be allowed to develop their own voices. As I do not have the mind of a second grader, it is imperative to my job that I learn what my students are thinking about and how they are thinking about them. Though I am a great supporter of this strategy in the classroom, it does take a lot of trust in my students to have them lead our discussions. Students need to lead the classroom, not teachers | Katherine Cadwell | TEDxStowe

63. < My response to the opportunity gap: The opportunity gap is often looked over in discussions amongst educators in urban schools because we are serving those whom are most affected by the opportunity gap. This post makes me think more into the depths of Teach For America and how they place their corp members in their specific schools and roles. For instance, I am intrigued why I, a black female, was placed at a Tier 1 School District Public School whereas many of my white counterparts were placed at funded charter schools. How America's public schools keep kids in poverty | Kandice Sumner


65. < My response to productive struggle: I am a firm believer in the productive struggle. I want my students to always be able to reach the correct answer that best fits their needs. While I would like to practice this in my classroom, I am at a loss when the state standards indicate that students need to follow specific guidelines when answering math problems. When I discuss with my students the "why" of learning specific strategies, they often look at me with such confusion because they cannot connect with the strategies I am providing for them. Is It Time to Detrack Math?

66. I work at a charter school and I find this criticism quite apt. I personally enjoy the staff culture at my institution, but the administrative culture - in particular those who are disconnected from the actual classroom - tend to treat education like a business and teachers like salespeople. Here is an article referencing my CEO's salary as it relates to other charter CEO's. Money remains a large source of power, read threat, at my school.

67. My response to charter schools> When I initially began TFA, I was extremely upset to learn that TFA Philadelphia had a stronger connection with the charter schools in the area versus the school district schools. Before becoming a teacher, I was led to believe that charter schools were the modern day segregated schools. Though this can be true for some schools, I now understand that the charter school network is much greater than the mishaps of a few schools. As New York Charters Turn 20, Let Good Schools Flourish - Education Next

68. Teach for America in Philadelphia has been a constant echo chamber of negativity for me because I have learned to see it for myself as a white-catering organization in everything from the way it recruits teachers, to the way it staffs its office. A way to address that echo chamber is to maybe re-read/ research the premise on which it was started and actively look for successful POC teachers and administrators that got their start with TFA

69. I am weary of falling into the echo chamber of "excellence above all" that is perpetuated at my school. Since our performance and evaluations determine our pay, teachers tend to focus on the standardized test that are evaluated. This year I have accepted that that is not a route I can afford to take because 1/2 of my 6th graders are at or below a second grade reading level and the reality of it is the curriculum I am given is at a rigorous 6th grade reading level. I have made a conscious decision to help my students build basic skills that will help them instead of forcing them to memorize a formula.

70. I loved this tedtalk! Restorative justice is something I am greatly working on this year. Last year one of my biggest regrets was not having enough restorative conversations with students. After an unfortunate event in my classroom I talked to the social worker at my school and she led me to Brene Brown's podcast as a means of learning some approaches to empathy when having restorative conversations! Best Brene Brown Podcasts (2019)