On behalf of SEEN, welcome back to the new school year. This month’s Scene with SEEN offers an opportunity for district educators as well as resources to help you think about how to approach this academic year. As the start of school approaches, we expect you are mulling over the questions that inevitably arise for educators every August: What will your classroom look like? What will your classroom feel like? What messages are you sending your students in those vital first weeks together? What values are you highlighting? We hope that the resources below help you to consider.
We are sharing a lot this month – mostly because there is so much great stuff out there. But as always, start with what feels manageable and bookmark the materials that you find especially useful!
Opportunity for district educators: Last year, a group of educators from SSCSD met monthly with the members of SEEN’s Faculty and Staff committee to discuss the book We Want to Do More Than Survive by Dr. Bettina Love. This year they plan to continue these meetings but with shorter texts, podcasts, and/or movies. If you are interested in joining or would like to know more, please email SaratogaEEN@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
*** A short note before delving into the resources. The High Holidays – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – are the holiest days in Judaism. They mark the start of a new year with celebration, reflection, and atonement. This year Rosh Hashanah falls on September 7 and Yom Kippur on September 16. Please be mindful of colleagues who may have conflicts with the superintendent’s conference day on the 7th and with students who may have a busy schedule over the day off for Yom Kippur.
Establishing your classroom climate:
- Beyond Celebrating Diversity: This list of 20 things to do to become a more equitable educator can provide a helpful framework as you envision your year.
- Promoting Racial Equity in a Predominantly White Educational Institution: This is a compilation of resources that is organized by subject area and specialty – please share it with colleagues and administration.
- We Need LGBTQ-Affirming Learning Environments in Person or Otherwise: The title speaks for itself from this brief article from Learning for Justice. Remember, what you can do to create a safer environment for some students, will likely benefit all of your students!
- What Antiracism really means for educators: This article is a great resource as you consider what you value and how you might express that when setting up your physical classroom as well as your instruction.
Setting up your classroom space:
- Learn and share the native land you inhabit: Use this resource to learn the indigeous land for any given address.
- Free Printable Posters: Representation matters. Use these posters to make help make your classroom an inviting space for all
- Diversify your Classroom Book Collection: What do do and what not to do as well as a lot of great book ideas.
- Connection Circles: How to Establish a Restorative Circle Practice: Using circles in classrooms can be a helpful practice for creating a safe space and learning about each other. Once the practice is established, they can also be a great resource when problems arise or difficult conversations need to be had.
- Calm Down Corner: Ideas for setting up a calm down or peace corner in the classroom
- Calming Corners: More ideas
Have a great start to the school year and thanks as always for everything you do for the students of SSCSD!