November 2021: Winter Holidays

Dear Local Educators,

We would like to start this month with reflection and question: Consider how your school and your classroom are decorated at this time of year. Will each and every student feel seen and welcomed? Is Christmas given a privileged position? What assumptions do you bring with you and how can you let them go?

In this edition of The Scene with SEEN, we will focus on how to approach the winter holidays in the classroom. Please also take a moment and consider how you discuss vacation plans with your students. What questions can you ask of your students that will honor each of their experiences, rather than highlight the divide between socioeconomic classes and family structures? 

Resources for the December Holidays

  • The Center for Racial Justice has put together this impressive list of resources to consider including information about specific holidays, reflections on race and the holiday season, and mental health.
  • Winter Holidays: December Dilemma or Teaching Opportunity? This article from the Anti-Defamation League highlights important things to keep in mind during this season. Specifically, the authors remind us to be inclusive but avoid putting students on the spot, and to remember that students’ identities are intersectional – they may celebrate multiple holidays or none at all and they may be in a family struggling financially. 
  • This article, Anti-Bias Education and Holidays: Making Thoughtful Decisions, offers thoughtful reflections and some alternatives to traditional celebrations.
  • This post, Ten Ways to Celebrate Diversity During the Holidays, also offers some good ideas including asking students to design their own holiday to really focus on what they value and enjoy about different celebrations.

Events and Opportunities

  • Please join us for the second in our Critical Conversations series, Culturally Responsive Teachingtomorrow from 7:00-8:30pm. Our panel of K-12 educators will share how they create welcoming and inclusive classrooms, and what culturally responsive teaching looks like in action. Here is the link to register!
  • All of the back issues of “The Scene with SEEN” can now be found on our website!
  • Help spread the word to other educators by sending out our signup survey!

~ The SEEN Team

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