The Penn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project has been my happy place as a teacher since 2004. It’s provided me opportunities to learn, lead, write, make mistakes, develop friendships, and more. Because life is about the sweet and the bitter, he horrific events in Charlottesville this summer were the catalyst for an LVWP bucket list initiative: our own podcast.
Thanks to the our fearless site director, Doug Antonioli, I am now part of Open Mic, a monthly podcast exploring the intersections of education and social justice. Enjoy our first episode: Teaching In The Wake of Charlottesville.
Our next episode is about supporting transgender students. Stay tuned.
If you are looking for more information about Black Lives Matter, to dive deeper, to lean into the discomfort, to open your eyes and heart a little more, here is a comprehensive list of movies, videos, books, articles, poems and more for you.
I wish I could take this course in person, but geography makes it impossible. Luckily, the age of social media makes information like this easy to disseminate: I share with you The Black Lives Matter Syllabus, Fall 2016.
Much respect and admiration to Frank Leon Roberts for sharing this so freely with fellow educators and the world.
I’ll post more as I dive into these resources myself.
Junot Diaz‘s writing has strong voice that never, ever shakes. If you’ve never read him, now’s your chance. Enjoy these free stories in print and in audio. These are perfect for any reader and especially English teachers. His language might be a little dicey for the classroom at times, but his characters speak the way teenagers speak, so find a school leadership ally and ask for support in bringing an authentic Dominican voice to your classroom.
A huge thank you to Josh Jones for putting this list together. Whydontcha give him a follow?
“It was just a normal day” is the beginning of many stories, often sad.
September 11th, 2001.
The day my Uncle Harvey died.
But not this time. This time, this normal day became a revelation.
It was my first day volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County, so I was going on an orientation delivery. I helped Bill and Evelyn Hart load their car with the coolers and we started our route. We made small talk and when we started talking about my job as a teacher, Evelyn said in passing that she taught in an underground literacy program in Alabama during the 196o’s. As a teacher, I was fascinated and inspired by her story.
That February, Evelyn spoke at my school’s Black History Night about her experience as this “secret teacher.” One of our students asked if she’d ever contacted her maid and Evelyn said she hadn’t. That made Evelyn think…
The rest is in this article written by the talented Margie Peterson.
As the White Lady In The Front of the Room in my school and as a writer who digs into culture and politics, I can’t stop thinking about this. Jon Stewart said it perfectly last night: