It is a blazingly hot summer day. I’ve already spent some time in the river down the road, and quite possibly might go back again later today. It is one of those days where us Vermonters just melt. I’m so thankful for all of the places I can access water, shade and woods here.
In many ways it feels like years since I wrote the last post here, about remote learning resources in March, and the very quick pivot teachers, students and parents had to make. And now, we have been at this for months, and so much has happened.
My normal response to a crisis is to work, work, work. Try to be helpful, try to use the tools I have to assist in any way. And that is what I tried to do much of this spring and early summer. Over at the Tarrant Institute blog, we were all very busy trying to bring forth resources, posts, and tools that could help teachers and students through this challenging time. In case you missed any of these posts, here are a few:
- Pivoting to Remote PBL
- Introducing: the Joy Project
- How to throw culminating events, online
- And one I wrote for Edutopia, Lessons Learned from this Pandemic.
The murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ammaud Arbery, and the subsequent protests, brought into sharp focus the need to address anti-racism at all levels in schools. Of course this is not a new call. This time, though, more people than ever were reaching out, wanting to do better, to refuse to stay silent, to get involved. I have been reading, listening to, and following educators, scholars and activists of color. I am reminded by Ijeoma Oluo that this is our work.
“The next frontier is white people trying to dismantle the systems of racial oppression that benefit them. In a way, they’re the only ones who can do that. White people need to want racism gone.”
—-Ijeoma Oluo, White Lies: Ijeoma Oluo on Privilege, Power, and Race
Here are some of our recent posts about anti-racism, and here are several other super helpful resources, no matter where you are with this work.
- The other pandemic. (TIIE)
- Student intervention for anti-racism (TIIE)
- Art equity and identity (TIIE)
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources (Anna Stamborski, Nikki Zimmermann, and Bailie Gregory)
- Part 1: Resources for Unlearning What We Were Taught and Learning Anti-Racism (Rhiannon Kim)
- Anti-Racism Resource Guide (Tasha K)
Now, of course, we struggle with the unknown. How will we go back to school.. what it will look like. How will students, teachers and our families stay safe. It is a scary and overwhelming time. I myself am trying to take it one day at a time. One moment at a time. Each day, I start with meditating, even when I am antsy, unsettled, and with a full to-do list. That is probably when I need it most.
And each day I am trying to notice things, like the red on the hummingbird’s neck that comes to our feeder. Or the yellow and black Tiger Swallowtail butterfly flitting around the yard. The light breeze on my skin, or the magic flashes of light from the fireflies at night.
What is keeping you grounded, and keeping you present? Wishing you and yours a safe, happy and relaxing summer, despite the barrage of news and challenges.
More soon. Poems and sketchnotes on recently read books. Stay safe and healthy.