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“We teach what we value.” - Gloria Ladson-Billings 

 “No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”
- James Comer 

DAY 3: THE KEY ROLE OF TEACHERS

Good morning! If you missed the Day 2 Challenge email yesterday, click here.

Today we look at the foundational relationship that determines student success - teachers - and the forces that often divide their attention in unhealthy and counterproductive ways. As the past two years have shown, teachers are expected to adapt to the changing technologies of virtual classrooms, grapple with their own fears about Covid-19 exposure, and support the mental health of their students and parents, all while designing curriculum and teaching engaging classes on a daily basis.

Yet even with what feels like insurmountable challenges, teachers persevere and go above and beyond. A local example we celebrate is New Haven teacher Nataliya Braginsky who was recently awarded the 2021 National History Teacher of the Year, a subject area of prime importance to understanding equity. Acknowledging the announcement and her inspiration, Nataliya shared, “This honor belongs to my students, who unearth untold histories, who educate their peers and communities, and who in their vision for what is possible, point us toward a more just future.”

READ

- “What Anti-racism Really Means for Educators" - Author Jamilah Pitts describes four key beliefs of being an antiracist educator.

- “Opinion: Let’s Work Together to Solve a Growing Demand for Skilled Teachers” - A national nonprofit newsroom that covers innovation and inequality in education discusses how to meet the demand for more teachers.

- "What Our White Colleagues Need to Understand” - Learning for Justice names the challenges educators of color face and how white colleagues can do better.

LISTEN

- “Where We Teach, One Year Into the Virtual Classroom” - Three Connecticut teachers, Sheree Baldwin Muhammad, David Bosso, and Claudia Tenaglia, discuss what this past year looked like for them and their students. (49 minutes)

- “Talking About Unconscious Bias in Schools” - Tracey A. Benson discusses ways in which schools and individuals can talk about unconscious bias to make positive change. (34 minutes)

- “The Cost of Racial Isolation in Schools” - Interview with Ralph Wales, Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., and Alethea White on the role white teachers and administrators play. (41 minutes)

WATCH

- “Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion” - A lifelong teacher discusses the importance of strong, authentic relationships between teachers and students. (8 minutes)

- “The Radical Imagination of Black Educators” - Discussion with Spelman College, Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools, Black Lives Matter at School, and Center for American Progress on rethinking the future of teaching and learning. (60 minutes)

 - “Teachers Speak Out: How Play is Learning” - Learning that takes place in early childhood classrooms through play. (3 minutes)

ACT

- Explore programs supporting and advocating for teachers: NHChILD, Seedlings Educators Collab, or Trust for Learning.

- Gather children’s books for Read to Grow. Volunteer to provide reading instruction for students at New Haven Reads.

- Check out the Teaching While White booklist and order your choice picks from People-Get-Ready bookstore.
 
- Reflect on your K-12 educational experience. Which teachers do you remember fondly? Write an ACTUAL letter of appreciation to a teacher who positively impacted you, your child, or someone you know.

Post your reflections from today’s challenge on social media or share with a friend that you are participating in this Equity Challenge as part of your learning and commitment to racial justice. Use the hashtag #UnitedForEquity and tag @UnitedWayOfGreaterNewHaven.

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