L524: Everyday Antiracism Thought Mapping

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L524: Everyday Antiracism Thought Mapping by Mind Map: L524: Everyday Antiracism Thought Mapping

1. As we have studied assimilation and acculturation, I was able to see all of the harm that can be caused by assimilation. But, I had not yet viewed it as internalized oppression as Valenzuela describes. Her personal experience and reflection helped me to understand the insidious complexity of it. I need to figure out ways to support my students to combat their own internalized oppression. Writing is the perfect avenue for this, but it will take some deftness, I think, to help guide my students there. (Ashley Libben)

2. I agree Amanda. Non-white students including ELL's and African American students are mislabeled at a far higher rate. Continuing to put rigorous work in front of all students helps close the gap in education. I was just reading something that said ELL students don't need intervention they need instruction. When we give students intervention we are again labeling them instead of seeing what they really need. Understanding the whole child helps us educate students. (A. Khemir)

3. One part that stuck with me was the TUMS bottle having specific information about it affecting or benefiting one racial group over another. This struck me as odd and I loved that a class took it on and wrote letters to the company. This shows the students that they can use their voice to change the world. Work in social justice issues in the classroom is very important even when it isn't something that is common knowledge like information on a pill bottle. The best quote is "First, a school system must provide space for deep questioning of taken-for-granted ideas. (Johnna Cade)

3.1. Goodman's anecdote about the TUMS bottle captures perfectly an example of the Banks' highest level of multicultural education - social action (Wright, 2019, p. 22). Whether or not the change in labeling was direct result of the letter writing campaign or the petition to the FDA, the students were engaged in relevant, meaningful, and authentic action. To stick with this same theme, we're presently observing a trend of companies be called to task for continued use of symbols and slogans that perpetuate racist caricatures or are examples of cultural appropriation - Uncle Ben, Aunt Jemima, Trader José to name a few. One might argue that it's multicultural education taking place across society rather than being situated just within a single classroom. (Román Graff)

4. This chapter focuses on teachers questioning behaviors in the classroom or making generalizations based on culture. Focusing on students expressions, reactions, participation, or feelings based on the climate around them. One quote that really stuck with me was a student saying"Wouldn't you be silent if you were a student in our tribal school and surrounded by non-Indians. Wouldn't you be silent if you were treated like dumb, dirty Indians everyday?" (pg224). How painful must that be to sit in a classroom each day where you not only feel rejected by students but your teachers as well. Teachers who are making assumptions about you based on a workshop or what they are seeing. (Jessica Stiles)

4.1. I agree with you, Jessica. As educators, it is our responsibility to learn in-depth background information about our students and connect with them. Making assumptions about people is so dangerous and can, in the end, hurt our students and their learning. I like to learn from my students about their culture, just as I share aspects of my culture with them. This exercise helps the class feel valued and welcomed for who they are. (S. Johannson)

4.1.1. Sarah, the main ideas you and Jessica shared also resonated with me. The affect of these assumptions, as stated by Foley are that teachers became "'less pushy' and 'less demanding'" (pg. 223). When you are not personally invested in a student, it is easier to see them as a number, a statistic, a body filling a desk, rather than an individual who has unique gifts and needs. We must be so intentional in examining ourselves to avoid this disservice of the students placed in our care. (Lauren Hannah)

4.2. Hi Jessica, the quote you cited was significant and revealing. My takeaway from the anecdote about the workshop is that there is a fundamental issue with how professional development workshops or enrichment sessions are viewed and used. Based on my own experiences, PD (including those involving racial equity, multicultural, anti-racist, and even run-of-the-mill curricular enrichment sessions) amount to one-off events without opportunity for teachers or staff to prepare for the session or to breakdown/review/reflect in the time following. In short, they’re treated as band-aids and used to check off boxes on compliance forms. There’s little investment in actual teacher development. And where it concerns on-going committee work, like equity teams I’ve participated in, authentic change can occur when the participants first acknowledge and breakdown their own internalized biases and recognize power dynamics within those spaces. For example, I taught at a school in which the white, female administrator convened a racial equity meeting at the start of the school year and announced that she did not want to facilitate or lead the subsequent meetings. But she did. And because the power dynamics in that space had not been explicitly addressed and she herself was not willing to disrupt the structure that insulated her authority as the principal, meaningful change could not take place at that school site. Material, discussions and, most importantly, decisions were first filtered through her lens and implicit biases. This is all to say that workshops cannot be the end-all-be-all of learning about multicultural issues despite being treated as such. There’s so much work that has to occur first on an individual level. (Román Graff)

4.2.1. Roman, I also had a similar takeaway to yours. I appreciate your willingness to share your personal experience in this situation. The quote that resonated with me was, "Sweeping characterizations of cultural groups invariably oversimplify why particular members of that group act the way they do." I remember a PD we had where we analyzed our "discipline" data. It revealed that a disproportionate amount of African American boys were being given think sheets and office referrals in our school. We read some great articles, but they gave sweeping characterizations just like this chapter mentioned. I see now that it would have helped to take our development a step further and really think about each student and why they behave the way they do. Is it the way I am treating them? Is it their culture? Is it a lack of motivation or boredom? These types of PDs have their place but we must take it a step further in our classrooms. (Jamie Medema)

5. Ch. 2 Pollock: No Brain is Racial

5.1. Yes, I agree with you. On page 6, when it talked about the biological perspective of "race being only skin deep", it was just so interesting to me and I felt it was a great way to explain it to our students even. The fact that we can explain to them that "rather than seeing Europeans and Asians as "races", we may regard them as different-looking subsets of Africans, since the entire human population is descended from ancestors who originated on that continent." And then going on to use the example that a person may be considered white in Brazil, but then come to the United States and be thought of as black or being considered white in the USA now, but ten years ago, would have been considered Mexican. It just goes to show that we can't categorize by skin color. S. Valentin

5.2. After reading this chapter I am now wondering if the lingo my school is using is incorrect. Pollock states, "When we say that we have "high expectations" for all students", we should think more specifically about what it is we are saying. (p.10) Looking at it now, I kind of feel like it is assumed that they do not have the academic ability. (Amy Dunn)

5.2.1. Hi Amy, you didn’t include what “lingo” your school uses. Assuming it’s something along the lines of having “high expectations” as Pollock writes, such a statement, in my opinion, isn’t initially or necessarily problematic. While much could be made of the questions of whose expectations, how they’re determined, and to what end, I’d like to focus instead on how students demonstrate that expectations are met (or exceeded). Consequently, this conversation must not only include discussion of assessment and measurement tools, but also address cultural bias in assessment. Kim and Zabelina (2015) address various types of cultural bias, including bias in interpretation and meaning of words in assessments, cultural biases of differential effect of acculturation, and cultural biases in achievement motivation, amongst others. Alternative and informal assessments are similarly scrutinized. What I thought was very interesting was how the authors proposed “expanding assessment practices to include creativity testing (p. 136).” The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking and the Rainbow project were cited as potential examples by which to augment assessments. Research like this gives me pause and I have to consider schools’ heavy reliance on norm-referenced assessments, but also assessments created by teachers, including my own. Román Graff

5.3. One part that really stuck with me is when the author stated, "Yet we have fallen for the misconception that internal differences, including intellectual ones, accompany these visible differences" (2008 Pollock , pg. 10). The idea of basing one's intellectual level based on what someone looks like seems archaic to me. For people to still believe internal things are controlled by one's looks is crazy. (Stephanie Farkas)

5.3.1. It is shocking to hear that people judge another individuals intelligence based upon their physical appearance and I definitely think it is still an issue today. Some people might not realize they are doing it, and might even think what they’re saying is a compliment to that person or culture. In chapter two Pollock states “being brought up Asian American entails contending with radicalized presumptions of our superior ability in math and science.” I feel that this is still a comment that people make today, thinking they are complimenting how smart the person is, without even realizing that it is racially judging them. (Jen Cottrell)

6. Ch. 4 Singleton and Hays: Beginning Courageous Conversations About Race

6.1. Courageous Conversations Agreement #1: Stay Engaged - Conversations must be frequent and consistent. Invitations to the conversation must be explicit. As conversations become more personal and perceived as more risky, participant engagement may diminish. The disengagement should be interpreted differently depending on how the conversation participant identifies. The facilitator should invite participants to acknowledge and reflect on the patterns, particularly silence, and how they impact the flow of the conversation. This agreement relies heavily upon the facilitator being able to directly, yet compassionately call attention to the silence and draw participants back into engagement. Depending on the positionality of the participant, silence does not reflect one's commitment to engaging in conversations about racism, inequity, etc. (Román Graff)

6.2. Courageous Conversations Agreement #2: Expect to Experience Discomfort - participants in conversations must be willing to: admit to their personal levels and limitations in knowledge base; accept that disagreement can and will take place; and unpack accepted/socialized perspectives when cognitive dissonance occurs. Ultimately, these steps could lead to personal growth, increased understanding, and movement to action to counter the effects of the racism and inequity experienced by historically minoritized and disenfranchised people and communities. But to make such progress requires participants to be willing to strip down and strip bare the templates they have been conditioned to accept and have (sub)consciously constructed.

6.2.1. I feel like I connected most to the Expect to Experience Discomfort agreement. As a second year teacher in IPS, we were sent to a Racial Equity training. During this three day training, my overall feeling was discomfort. I felt many times that everything I thought I knew or understood was completely off, but the more I found out I was wrong about, the more I wanted to know and correct. I think through that discomfort the more I grew as a person and teacher. I began asking questions that I didn't know I needed answered, and understanding/being empathetic with perspectives I didn't know were there. (Kristen Valenti) Kristen, I understand how you could feel discomfort while going through this training. It starts to make you think about your everyday actions and what you say, and if they are correct. I don't think you were doing any of those things you were doing "wrong" were intentional, but it is great that you recognized, asked questions, and are working on understanding others cultures and perspectives. (Jennifer Cottrell)

6.3. Courageous Conversation Agreement #3: Speak Your Truth - This idea of "speaking your truth" has always been a challenge to me, as what I believe has shifted over the years, particularly as I have grown independent from my parents. I can attest that I am often silent for large stretches when involved in conversations about race; this silent period is necessary for me to process what other participants are sharing, as well as reflect on new ideas that may challenge my current beliefs. I strongly resonate with the authors' statement that some, like myself, "sit quietly in agonizing uncertainty" (pg.21) during these conversations. I feel pressure to respond immediately. However, it is much more helpful for me to take the time to reflect on what is being shared and respond in a future conversation, rather than rashly construct a response. (Lauren Hannah)

6.3.1. Lauren, I definitely connect with you on this idea of needing time to sit, listen & reflect on certain topics in conversation. I can be shy at times and I don't feel very knowledgeable on some topics. Just as our EL learners go through a silent period when learning English, certain topics in conversation may also cause people, like myself, to experience a silent period. I often feel pressured to respond immediately and it is difficult to ask another person for some grace and time to respond. (S. Johannson) S. Johannson, this makes me think about the "cold calling" teachers usually do in class to touch base and gauge if a student is paying attention. This practice puts them on the spot and could very well make any student feel pressured. (Amy Dunn)

6.4. I like that Pollock distinguishes "talking precisely" as an opportunity for thorough and critical examination of practices and policies rather than engaging in a blame game. No one wants to be labeled a racist. Few want to acknowledge that what they do in the classroom perpetuates a system of inequity and racism. We quickly cite the racial equity meetings we attend, the social justice books we own and have read as proof that we're not racist. But such actions externalize the systemic issues we individually repeat. Being raised in a society/culture that by default centers whiteness, we are conditioned to perpetuate it simply by participating in its operation. This arrangement is what makes Dr. Kendi's view of racism - as a prescriptive term rather than a pejorative, fixed label - so helpful in terms of "talking precisely." Even for myself, who identifies as bi-racial Mexicano, the work must continue daily and conscientiously. Harvard runs Project Implicit with the goal of educating people "about hidden biases and to provide a 'virtual' laboratory for collecting data on the Internet." I took the test and my results were that I show a slight automatic preference for white people over black people. This clearly shows me that I still have much work to do. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that educators not educate themselves. Participate in the equity meetings, read social justice literature, but do the work. If whiteness is any way a part of your identity, then a pursuit of equity and anti-racism demands acknowledging positionality within an inequitable and racist system/structure, and leveraging the inherent privilege that comes with it. (Román Graff)

6.5. Courageous Conversation Agreement #4: Expect and Accept a Lack of Closure-This one can be hard. I think we as educators are often used to looking at a goal, making a plan to achieve it, implementing the plan, adjusting as needed, and checking the box. Conversations around race are so much more complex than this and the end is never as simple as a check box. A speaker I heard last week touched on this by pointing out that America's racial construct has been built over the past 400 years...400 years...it takes a long time to confront, reflect upon and dismantle systems and beliefs that have been with us for 4 centuries. By going into these conversation with the expectation and acceptance of non-closure we can see the value in these conversations each and every time, even if they do not lead to a solution or total agreement. (Sean Henseleit)

7. Ch. 5 Pollock: Talking Precisely about Equal Opportunity

7.1. As I read this chapter, It struck me that there is a big difference between precise and imprecise thinking. Precise thinking leads to prompt, precise analysis; while imprecise thinking leads to imprecise attainment of the goal. It is very important to drill down the data so that we are seeking the best solution for our students. Tammi Hicks

7.2. One key idea within this chapter that really stood out to me was the push to talk more precisely about the causes and solutions for racial disparities. I feel like educators and administration within schools can quickly and easily discuss what may be causing racial disparities and inequality in schools, but we rarely dig into solutions for these issues. Sure we talk about it, but do we collaborate and come up with real solutions to help? (Sarah Johannson)

7.2.1. Sarah, I completely agree! It's one thing to talk about racial disparities in broad terms, and another to talk about it precisely. If we talk about racial disparities in a precise way, it can lead to real changes. According to Pollock, "the goal of such 'precise' talk about assisting students is to prompt precise analysis of what offering 'equal' opportunity inside a school actually entails" (p.26). Darci Brenner

7.3. I liked when the author discussed avoiding the blame game, and pursue an urgent language of communal responsibility. It goes on to say that when analyzing how to undo a pattern, educators must take great care to uncover wether their actions offer students optimal opportunity.(Tammi Hicks)

7.4. I liked the basic question that we must ask ourselves, "Which of our everyday acts move specific students or student populations toward educational opportunity, and which acts move them farther away. To me it comes down to the fact that we can't do something just because we have always done it. We need to really dissect it and see if it pushes students toward or away from academic opportunity. (Tammi Hicks)

8. Ch. 6 Nieto: Nice is Not Enough: Defining Caring for Students of Color

8.1. The author of this chapter, Nieto, asks her preservice teachers to do an in-depth case study of a student. " When looking carefully at an individual member of a group dispels stereotypes about the needs of all people from particular backgrounds, while at the same time gives teachers a more complete understanding of how group membership affects the contexts in which students live." (p. 30) (Natasha Lane)

8.1.1. Smitherman and Alim address precisely this in their book Articulate While Black. The authors use Obama's speeches as a springboard for a raciolinguistic examination of politics and society. Among the elements they consider is the use of compliments that superficially convey accolades but also reinforce model minority myth. (Román Graff)

8.1.2. I like the idea of doing an in-depth case study on a student, Natasha. I never did that in college and I think it would have better prepared me for the diversity I now experience in my career. I like how this chapter clearly spells out how "niceness" is not enough. It is our job to find out what our student's culture is and help them succeed while still valuing them for who they are. (Jamie Medema) This reminded me of the podcast "Nice White Parents." This podcast also had the underlying message that "niceness" isn't enough when determining the best, most effective way to provide equitable education for Black and minority students. Niceness cannot fix, nor even begin to address the historical, underlying issues of our nation's education system - biases, achievement gaps, disparities in disciplinary actions, parental involvement, and all of the other dangerous and structural injustices that are undeniable within this (any many other) U.S. institutions. Though "nice" teachers and school leaders may have good intentions, they cannot begin to address these previously mentioned issues that plague our education system. Teachers must go beyond the concept of "niceness"and dive deeply into addressing their own implicit biases and beliefs that are learned and internalized from the dominate, Anglo culture in our country. No white teacher serving children today can say they their behaviors are not, or have not in the past, been affected by the messages they have received about other cultures and minority groups through simply living in this white-centered, Anglo society. This takes years of work, learning & unlearning, and educating ourselves on how to best serve our students, despite what backgrounds they may come from. (Chatlin Pearson)

8.1.3. I was initially going to respond by reflecting on my first encounter with the idea of white privilege; as I was looking for an influential text I read in college, I came across four of Nieto's case studies that we must have examined in that same course. As I re-read these four case studies, I was most struck by the depth of responses from/about each student. There are few students I know at this level, and I am now brainstorming how I can get to know more students at a deeper level. I love that these case studies provide open opportunities for students to share what they view as significant about themselves, their families, and their perspectives on school. (Lauren Hannah)

8.1.4. (Darci Brenner)

9. Ch. 10 Valenzuela: Uncovering Internalized Oppression

9.1. This chapter was very interesting and eye opening. As I was reading Valenzuela's story it made me extremely sad. I can see how even though Valenzuela's has the micro culture of Mexican American, and she could relate to the other Mexican student, Valenzuela chose to follow her other Mexican American friend who glorifies the macro culture of white supremacy. I realize that I need to understand my students and school body even more so that I can figure out ways to support them and help them embrace their culture and individuality. (Lents)

9.1.1. This chapter also resonated with me as I thought about many connections between the way Valenzuela described the way her friend treated the other Mexican-American student and the way my students let stereotypes affect them. My school is one of three middle schools in our district and before I started teaching here it was known as "ghetto Guion" by the other middle schools. When I first started teaching here, my students would make comments about how we are ghetto Guion so it is okay to do certain things or act certain ways. It was a challenge to address those comments and try to help our students understand that just because other schools call us that, it doesn't mean it is true. We also had conversations with them about how just because we are called something, it does not mean we have to act that way. Luckily, we hardly ever hear that nickname for our school anymore. (Gregory Pope)

9.1.2. This chapter was eye-opening to me as well. It stuck out to me that, "young people are pushed to fit themselves into categories of racial difference" (Valenzuela, p. 54). As an educator, I must become aware of the "soul wounds" inflicted on my students in order to create a welcoming and accepting classroom environment where each student feels they can be themselves. (Darci Brenner)

9.2. I was floored by the concept of internalized oppression,"soul wounds" presented by Valenzuela in this chapter. The ideas of self-hatred and negative self-talk are not lost on me, but I have never considered them in this context. To think that I have had an unintentional hand in this due to my ignorance of its existence is heartbreaking. But, looking at it now, it's so clear. This only fuels my desire to create a classroom environment (and perhaps one day change a school culture as an admin) to honor multiculturalism and to foster minds and hearts for advocacy in my students and teachers. (Long)

10. Ch. 12 Lucas: Constructing Colorblind Classrooms

10.1. A significant takeaway I got from this chapter was statistical discrimination. The chapter by Samuel R. Lucas states on p. 63 that statistical discrimination is, "when we use the average performance of a group - such as black children or boys - in order to determine how we should offer opportunity to the specific person." Lucas states that achievement varies and by looking at the average achievement of groups like this, we may be using statistical discrimination. I have looked at data sorted in this way before, but this chapter has surely given me a new outlook to be cautious about looking at a group as a whole instead of individuals and their abilities. (Jamie Medema)

10.1.1. Jamie, this chapter was eye opening for me as well, because as you mentioned, teachers/schools often look at data that is organized by students' racial groups. However, as Lucas points out, we have to be careful doing that because, "...the race of a specific child offers no information whatsoever about that child's current or potential achievement." I agree that teachers and schools need to focus on students as individuals and not as part of racial groups. There are many factors that impact a student's motivation and ability to learn, and their racial group is not one of those factors. (Gregory Pope) Jamie and Greg, this chapter was a stand-out one for me. I struggled with the opening bit because I've also found the expression "I don't see color" as problematic. I've often thought that this expression, often unintentionally, as stripping students of their culture. By saying I don't see color, I heard, "I don't see their unique cultural identities." Which, may be what some mean when they say this, but I appreciated this chapter for providing a more nuanced understanding of this expression. I am still thinking about this one; I will be thinking about this one for awhile. (Ashley Libben) The title of this chapter threw me off when I began reading it at first. I agree with Ashley's opinion that I have been trained to hear "I don't see color/race" as a way of saying "I don't care to learn or think critcally about the ways in which your skin color causes you to experience the world in a different way than me, a white teacher." However, as I continued reading I began to see taht this author didn't mean the phrase in that way, but in a way that meant for teachers to be weary of their preconieved notions about the data in regards to the academic achievement of minority groups within their classrooms. It is not new informtion to me to learn that many teachers have biases and predjudices of their own, internalized from the many messages we recieve in our society about who is accepted and who is not. Teachers then carry these biases over to their classrooms and students, causes them to have lower expectations for the acaedmic achievement of the minority groups they serve. Teachers, regardless of whether or not they consider themselves to be overtly racist or not, can cause harm to the minority, black and brown students in their classroom by simply having these low expectations - basically setting studenjts up for failure and sending them a message that people from their racial or cultural background are incapable of success in comparison to white students. This is something that I believe teachers need to be trained on how to realize and unlearn these harmful, racist mindsets that result in the furthering of the achievement gap between minority and white students in our classrooms. Many white teachers do not have experience with Latinx, Black, Asian, African, etc. cultures, and in turn do not have any truth to balance out any negative information they believe to have learned from our society about a certain demographic. Thus, they draw on these stereotypes for context when they are faced with a situation that requires them to interact with someone who is unlike them. In turn, these are internalized and placed back onto the minority students from their white teacher, simply because their teacher never tried to learn otherwise. (Chatlin Pearson) t

11. Ch. 41 Foley: Questioning "Cultural" Explanations of Classroom Behaviors

11.1. This was my assigned chapter to begin a discussion thread on, so I hope I'm setting it up correctly, although I'm not sure that I am. The part of the chapter where Foley advises teachers to be open to what is being taught at multicultural in-service workshops, but to be critical as well (page 224) really stuck out to me. We all go to workshops in the hopes of bettering ourselves as teachers in ways that will benefit our students. I always go with a goal of being able to use something I learned the very next day in my classroom. Some of the teachers who went to this workshop on the Mesquakis did just that, they let their students be silent and saw it that they were just being respectful and doing what their culture teaches them to do. However, the students didn't feel that way at all and were actually silent because they were made to feel like "dumb, dirty Indians" everyday. Foley advises to really know your students and to listen to them and discover how they are responding to school setting. (Sarah Valentin)

11.1.1. Sarah, I

11.2. Sarah, the quote you mentioned in your take-away reminded me of the videos we watched within the first few weeks of this class in which students from bi-cultural or immigrant backgrounds were talked about in negative ways by their teachers. I think that it is very important for us to realize that, as a nation, about 80% of teachers are white but over half of our students come from backgrounds other than the Anglo-dominate culture in the U.S. Therefore, it is next to impossible for us to think that these teachers are not bringing their own biases into the classroom, because teachers are people too. People who have their own experiences, values, beliefs, etc. that might not be so easily challenged when presented with students from backgrounds that do not match up with what we, as white teachers, have experienced in our own personal settings. White teachers do not have (for the most part) meaningful experiences with groups of different cultures or backgrounds, and therefore may feel threatened by how behaviors of other cultures conflict with what they see to be the "social norms" they have been aligning themselves to their entire lives. Teachers need to first and foremost be aware that they probably do have biases that are dangerous to their students, and must be politically conscious enough to understand that, in the institution of education, there is an imbalance of power that leaves minority students in desperate need of more. Teachers must be willing to seek out these biases and unlearn them in an effort to protect our students from this cycle. (Chatlin Pearson)

11.2.1. Chatlin, I like that you mentioned how the race, ethnicity, and diversity are not always represented in the teaching staff. As teachers are beginning to recognize this issue they are learning about their students cultural backgrounds and customs in hopes of supporting them in the classroom. Sometimes they mistakenly use the information in a way that does not support the child and hinders their learning. It is important that for us to incorporate our students' culture in a way that supports their learning. We need to evaluate our trainings and make sure that are providing and equitable education to all of our students before we implement it in our classrooms (J. Cottrell).

12. Ch. 48 Louie: Moving Beyond Quick "Cultural" Explanations

13. Ch. 1 Goodman: Exposing Race as an Obsolete Biological Concept

13.1. Race is socially constructed and is also a product of history; thus, racial categories change over time. (Jessica Belcher)

13.2. One of my significant takeaways is that, "We now know that living beings change over time; they are not classifiable into unchanging "types" like "races." " (Goodman, 2008, p.2) The idea that it evolves really stood out to me because I connected it with how we structure our classrooms. For example, our groups in our classrooms are fluid and change throughout the year. (Darci Brenner)

13.3. "Educators in all subjects can also challenge scientifically an incorrect notion about biological difference that is particularly damaging in schools: that intelligence is genetically unequally distributed among different racial groups". This really stood out to me because there have been several studies showing that non-white students are often labeled with things like learning disorders or special education services. Many people think that students of color cannot achieve at as high of levels as white students. Expectations are often lowered for these students due to these false beliefs. (Amanda Richardson)

13.3.1. This also stood out to me. Working with many non-white students, I have had very few ever labeled with a learning disability, or as special ed. I feel very fortunate to work in a school where we focus on language and then reassess a students performance. (Stephanie)

13.3.2. I was also caught by this idea in Chapter 1. I have seen that students who are not white seem to be labeled quickly and I have seen the expectations lowered for these students. Many students do not need to be labeled with a disability, but rather, they need quality instruction that is adapted to meet their learning needs and styles. (S. Johannson)

13.4. One part that stuck with me was when the author stated "unchanging racial 'types' of humans are completely incompatible with evolutionary theory. We now know that living beings changes over time; they are not classifiable into unchanging 'types' like 'race'" (2008 Goodman, pg.5). I am currently teaching the difference between biotic and abiotic factors in life. We listed the characteristics of a living thing was to change over time- grow, mature, live and die. This part stuck with me because it was so easy for the students to understand why something is alive or not, but they naturally started to categorize the living things, and justify why one was more important than the other, instead of just looking at it as a life. I feel as though this connects to many parts of our society - trying to make one life seems more important, or in many cases, irrelevant, instead of treating each life of equal importance. (S.Johnson)

14. Chapter 6: Nice Is Not Enough:Defining Caring for Students of Color

14.1. By being a "nice teacher", we degrade students. We unintentionally tell students that they are incapable of learning. Although many students face a difficult home life, poverty, lack of English language proficiency students should not be given accommodations that leave the lesson having less rigor. (Alicia Khemir)

14.1.1. Samway and McKeon indirectly reference the nexus between rigor and outcome. "One of the dangers in favoring English language and literacy instruction over content instruction until ELLs are proficient in English is that students can become marginalized and never exit from English language programs (or get placed in classes for students with special needs) because they never reach reasonable levels of academic knowledge - the result is the retarding of student achievement through academic underpreparation (p. 42)." Rigor doesn't have to be sacrificed when tending to the whole child. Rather, by centering the child and having greater awareness of their circumstances and needs, this should better inform teachers as to appropriate supports and strategies that can maintain rigor. Academic rigor and acknowledging students' barriers are not mutually exclusive elements. Marginalized/minoritized students don't need saviors - it perpetuates white hegemony, despite the intention to accomplish otherwise. (Román Graff)

14.1.2. I agree that teachers should not be nice by accommodating lessons because of a student's home life, socioeconomic status, or lack of English literacy skills. However, I do believe ELL students who are still developing English language proficiency deserve to have lessons/assessments differentiated to make them more equitable. (Gregory Pope)

14.1.3. One quote that resonated with me from chapter 6 was what the author called the "ethic of care" which involves a "combination of respect, admiration, and rigorous standards" (Nieto, Pg. 30). I have found that when I build a respectful relationship with students first, then they meet or even exceed the high expectations that I hold for them. However, I also noticed the author's statement that, "regardless of our individual personalities, we are all situated within a racially unequal structure that we often unwittingly perpetuate" (Nieto, Pg. 28). I need to ask myself each day if the way I am teaching in class is unintentionally promoting institutional racism. (Jessica Belcher)

14.1.4. I agree completely, we shouldn't make learning less rigorous based on these difficult factors that some students face. I unintentionally have done that, but now I realize that I was doing a disservice to them. Instead of making a lesson less rigorous, I think it is important to differentiate the work that is appropriate for the student, yet still holds the high standard of rigor. (Lents)

14.2. Caring teachers challenge institutional racism in school districts by refusing to tolerate a system that views English learners and students of color from deficit perspectives. In expecting more from students, teachers must expect more from school personnel as well. This passage resonated with me because my experience of teaching English Learners is consistent with Nieto’s assertion that English Learners have “unequal resources” (p. 29). We are lacking technological resources and have additional needs for our classroom. How do I advocate for my students in a climate where “we talk imprecisely” about addressing inequities in our schools (Pollack, p. 26)? Encouraging rigor in the classroom is only effective as teachers hold themselves and others in the district to high standards of diligence as well. In reading this chapter, I am challenged to provide more rigorous work for my students (Donna Kimmell)

15. Chapter 14: Showing Students Who You Are (Heather M. Pleasants)

15.1. On page 70, Pleasants mentions that "racism is partially about viewing others through a reductive lens, treating people as if they were defined by their racial ethnic group membership." As a teacher, I have seen so much fruit come from investing into my kids, but also allowing them to see glimpses of me as a "real person" beyond just the Mrs. Blotkamp scoring and assigning their tasks. There have been immense levels of trust built over the years with my students of all different backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, and I have noticed an overwhelming positive correlation between those relationships of vulnerability and trust and their overall performance and success in my class. I believe that if students know us and trust us, they will be more likely to engage with the learning process that we present to them. (Brittany Blotkamp)

15.2. This chapter explained the importance of showing our students who we are as people outside of school, by incorporating our out-of-school interests into our curriculum, so we can make deeper connections with our students. I feel like this is important now more than ever because of virtual/hybrid teaching. Most of my students this school year have been very quiet/shy when it comes to having conversations (most likely due to the transition from virtual to hybrid learning and the smaller class sizes). But, that lack of conversation has made it difficult for me to learn more about my students so I can try to make individual connections with them. Even though this chapter focused on incorporating our out-of-school lives into our curriculum/content, I think a good starting point is simply sharing with our students small details about our lives outside of school. For example, if we have pets, the tv shows we like to watch, and the music we like to listen to. A few weeks ago in one of my really quiet classes, I asked my students what they do when they get home from school, and that question led my students to ask me questions about what I do. These conversations then led us to talking about what pets/how many pets we all have. Asking that simple question about what my students do after school opened up more conversations, and allowed me and my students to make connections with each other and feel more comfortable having future conversations with each other. (Gregory Pope)

15.2.1. Greg, I loved this chapter, because, like you said, it is so relevant in today's world, almost more so than in years past. We have to get creative in sharing ourselves and our lives with our students. We got a glimpse of that in the spring when we all went to virtual learning. We zoomed into student's homes and they too zoomed into ours in a sense. I saw their pets, I saw their siblings, and their families. Likewise, they saw my kids, my dog, the rooms in my home. In a way, I felt I was able to know them even better. Their was a certain trust that grew between us all as we went through this together. We used flipgrids to tell stories and share experiences. In the classroom, the teacher who had her students write in their journals the figurative language they heard through the day was a great way to get to know her students and for them to get to know her. I too, have made a writing notebook when I ask my students to and the first thing we do is decorate the cover with things that are important to us. In doing this, I get to share the important parts of my life with them and that is what most of my writing will include as well. The teacher who used puppets to help teach trouble academic areas, reminded me of how music is a big part of who I am and how I always use songs and lyrics to help in reading and writing with my students. This gives them a glimpse into who I am as well.