2020. Like many of you, 2020 has been for me, a time to survive. Teaching remotely, and trying to do it well, living in quarantine and pretending that all is normal, grocery shopping (!), posting monthly on this blog; it has been quite a year. This month, I was so excited to share my summer reading stack. I have been keeping a list, adding to it regularly. I took pictures. I focused on “own voice” texts because I want to teach diversity. And then everything changed.
In the last few weeks I have been reading about how to avoid racial bias while teaching in my classroom. I read a powerful post on KidLit.tv, written by Bethany Edwards titled, When Racial Bias is Taught Through Children’s Literature. There was so much to unpack in her post. She writes “When teachers (or parents) have limited knowledge of multicultural literature they are unable to support families in multicultural selections.”
I have a substantial knowledge of multicultural literature, don’t I? But, do I know how to talk about issues that are based in racial inequalities, and do I do this well? I continued reading, “Instead of facing these conflicts head-on, teachers and even parents, use avoidance or coping strategies. Adults are afraid of being called “insensitive” or ” offensive” when reading or discussing books or assigning homework.”
Is this me?
As fellow TBR blogger, Susan Kennedy wrote in her post this month“I have to learn to be an antiracist, not just a non-racist.” As the last few weeks have unfolded, the more I’ve read, the more I have realized that I do not teach about racial issues as well as I could. I wish I could say I do, but I know I can do better. I need to do better.
So, I rebuilt my summer stack. My focus will be on reading a few professional books which address the issue of race in education. In addition, the books I will read to share with my students will have main characters from a variety of cultures.
Here’s my updated stack:
Books to share with my students:
This is the first step in my journey to learn and improve. I am ready to get started.