Hey Team,

For my SJ project, I'm starting the year with a unit on storytelling: Why do we tell stories? Whose story gets told? Who is a writer? Who is a reader?

I need some mentor texts of excellent personal narratives. Who do you recommend? If it's a full book, can you recommend a noteworthy chapter for a close study of narrative moves?

I really struggled today with the Genderbread/Gendercorn project today and it reminded me that if as an adult I am insecure about how I present myself and my ideas, it is mostly likely even more of a struggle for my students to feel comfortable enough to reveal their true selves to their peers and teachers. It makes me wonder how to effectively encourage authentic, purposeful pursuits of social justice. The importance of genuine dialogue and the value of free writing to help foster a sense of trust and confidence is big.

Today I was able to clarify my thinking on our purpose here. I had been thinking about units and student work while others were questioning our practices in schools and classrooms. I was curious which directions our cohort's project would head and we agreed to have a dual purpose: (1) a student inquiry project into the concept of social justice and (2) implementing classroom practices that promote access and equity for marginalized groups of students. Our discussion led us to question the practices of low-achieving/standard classrooms and how withholding collaboration or writing process or STEM opportunities denied these students access to skills that would make them "productive citizens."

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Today, I was challenged to think about the ways I sometimes dismiss things because they don't affect me. I like to think I challenge myself to do that, but there are levels: just because I've learned not to dismiss the struggles folks other than me face doesn't mean I always see those struggles - getting myself to the next level means I have to be more observant, more thoughtful, more empathetic, more practiced in stepping outside myself.
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My uniiiiiicorn says, " Hey! I'll do and be what I want"!

I'm feeling challenged to develop classroom activities that help students to develop social skills, to continue teaching and thinking through a social justice lens, to further collaborate with my awesome teammates and to think about what social justice looks like at our school.

Maybe we'll check out state archives to do eugenics or mental health-equity research? Maybe we'll do a student ethnography project? So many intriguing possibilities were discussed this afternoon 😯
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NEW COMMUNITY
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Neighborhood mapping
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I'm wondering about where the intersections are between what I should do with my classes and what Steph and Heather will do in terms of inquiry into social justice. We teach fairly different populations, but I think there a number of texts and discussions that would benefit students in all of our classes.

I thought differently today about what topics we might consider under the umbrella of social justice, and how that looks in extracurricular activities and in classrooms that aren't English classes. I had a tough time at first thinking of how that might work in a science classroom, but then our discussion generation several ideas fairly quickly.

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Genderbread & privilege beads- great discussion and lots of issues to ponder!
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