Terence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling — these black men who were killed in police shootings this year prompted a difficult national conversation about race and privilege. That conversation unfolded in part in public school classrooms across the country.
Chalkbeat reporters were there as educators helped children work through complicated and often frightening emotions and ideas, while at the same grappling with their own feelings.
- Memphis teachers share how they foster conversations about social justice in the classroom all year long
“‘One day a student told me he felt worthless and didn’t have what it takes to do well in school. When Black Lives Matter came out, it wasn’t just about police. It’s about an entire history of society telling them they don’t matter. Society is saying it loud enough that a 10-year-old student is picking up on that narrative.'”
- Great teachers are experts at difficult conversations. Here’s their advice to America on talking about race.
“‘I’m often surprised when things occur and teachers don’t say a word. They say, I teach chemistry, or what does this have to do with algebra. What exemplary teachers do is acknowledge it. Kids see these things on social media, and on the news media. And so the teachers create a space. They help them separate fact from fiction.'”
- How should New York City teachers guide conversations about race and police violence?
“Teachers can’t create safe spaces for difficult discussions the day after a troubling event, Feldman said. Instead, they must begin before that by developing strong relationship with students, so that they feel comfortable talking about how these issues affect their lives in and out of school.”
- As Teach for America prepares its Nashville recruits, conversations turn to police shootings
“The teachers-in-training conferred about how the shootings might affect their students. Then they talked to the students themselves, nearly all of whom are black and who are making up credits so they can graduate from Pearl-Cohn on time.”
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