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Social Justice Presentations

The DKG California STEP committee has been working hard this summer to create our first set of social justice presentations. These are meant to be used by individuals for their own personal growth or by groups of people who want to learn and explore these topics together. If you are a DKG member, each of these presentations could be used for a chapter program. 
In the future we will be creating more presentations on the topics of: Equity and Equality, Teaching Using the Social Justice Standards, The Digital Divide, the Academic Achievement Gap and more. When new presentations are created they will be shared via this blog. 

You may want to explore the presentations in this order, but please feel free to watch them in any order which makes sense to you:
Love and Inclusion Explore the concepts of love, diversity, inclusion, acceptance and empathy. This presentation offers lots of chances for reflection and/or discussion.  You can view the presentation here. 
Unconscious and Implicit Bias Explor…
Recent posts

Resources For Teaching For Racial Justice

We are all watching the demonstrations happening right now in response to the many years of
discrimination and oppression of people of color and wondering what we can do as educators to
help ensure that our society does better moving forward. As educators we have the power and the ability
to be part of the solution. There are many resources available that can help guide us on that journey.
We hope that the books,websites and resources below will empower you to help make the change that
is needed right now.  We must also acknowledge that every teacher comes to issues of race differently based on their
own experiences and identity/ies. White educators have a special responsibility to increase their own
understanding and to listen when they are fortunate enough to hear about the experiences of their
colleagues of color. However, we must ensure that the burden of informing others about the history
and experience of racism does not rest on the shoulders of our colleagues and friends of color. W…

Resources for Teachers and Families During School Shut Downs

We are all working on figuring out how to address learning and support our students and families during the school shut downs. As the shut downs happened so rapidly and unexpectedly it has left many of us wondering how best to do this. The DKG California STEP team has compiled a list of resources that we are hoping will be helpful to you and your students as you navigate these challenging times.

In addition to the list of resources below we have two ideas for your consideration:

Online Read Aloud
Record and post an online read aloud for your students. Read aloud is a favorite time of day for both teachers and students. Watching you do an online read aloud can be a real comfort for your students and is a wonderful way to stay connected with your class while you are not able meet face to face. Also, this is a great opportunity for you to model for the parents how to use questioning to support and check for comprehension.
****If you are able to record and post your video privately so that…

Why Workshop and Balanced Literacy?

We have all heard about the pendulum of literacy instruction that forever seems to swing back and forth between isolated phonics instruction and/or diving right into immersing children in reading and writing experiences. Another way of looking at the possibilities for literacy instruction is a more balanced approach that incorporates benefits from both sides of the Whole Language vs Phonics debate. If we use a balanced literacy approach for our literacy instruction, students can benefit from explicit, direct instruction in Phonics as well as engage in authentic reading and writing experiences. Reading and Writing Workshop are integral to a balanced literacy approach in addition to other foundational practices such as: shared reading, interactive writing, guided reading and Phonics or word work, just to name a few. 
For the purposes of this post, reading and writing workshop are defined as structures that have the following components: daily, succinct mini-lessons for the whole class th…

Equity Vs Equality

What is the difference between treating students “fairly” and treating them “equally”? What are some examples of how that looks in the classroom?

The following is an example of what equity looks like in a continuation high school in Hollister, CA. As the understanding of the difference between equity and equality is so important for all educators to understand, we hope you find the following illustration helpful. 

There are important differences between equal and fair. Many times, it depends on the classroom environment and the locale. I am using these definitions as guidelines for my responses: Equal is having the ability and or resources to meet a challenge. Fair denotes something being free of favoritism and free of judgment. (Oxford Dictionary)

I worked in a small, rural agricultural community. Ninety-seven percent of my students were Mexican-American or Mexican. We were a Continuation High School. Our main comprehensive High School has a population of approximately 3000 students. Th…

Teacher Self-Care

Self-care!  It's the latest fad.  Take yourself out to lunch, get a pedicure, do some yoga... These things are great, but are they really self-care?  I often find that when I'm feeling exhausted and ready for a melt-down, self care ends up as another item on my to -do list.  Or, if I do indulge, the entire time I'm getting my pedicure, I'm thinking about all the things I SHOULD be doing, checking email and responding to texts,  totally out of the moment of the experience The bottom line is that if this kind of self-care helped us feel more confident and empowered, we would easily build in the spa days and dinners out.  Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, a board-certified psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine is passionate about women's health. She defines self-care as "the internal hard work of making tough decisions for yourself and by yourself.  It starts with recognizing that you have l…

Transforming Our Classrooms

Are we ready to transform our classes?
There are a plethora of discussions regarding Social Justice in the classroom. Are we doing all we can as teachers to open the doors to discussions about race, culture, identity and ethnicity amongst ourselves? What do we see when we see our students? I have heard some teachers state that “all students are the same, I do not see color”. I am so envious of their state of colorblindness!
Or, rather, are we missing out on the opportunity to learn from our students and open our thoughts regarding microaggression, implicit bias,and microinsults that are sometimes levelled to students by us?
One of the definitions that I have heard regarding “implicit bias” is that it can be the stereotypes and or attitudes that affect our perceptions of others. The power of these biases is in their subconscious nature. We can start to take away their power when we make a conscious effort to uncover them. Few stereotypes and negative perceptions stand up to critical scrutiny.…