Teaching for Equity

Coaching "4" Success Volume 1

Sending Grace: A Back to School Message for our PSRC Teachers & Staff

Catherine and I want to welcome each of you back to a very different, virtual beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

What the first few days look like depends on your situation. You may be kicking off the school year in your classroom or office, wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance from your colleagues, and applying plenty of hand sanitizer.

Or you may be starting the school year from home, sitting in front of a computer in a spare bedroom, or maybe at your dining room table.
Even as we welcome you back, we know that the work actually started days, weeks, even months ago in preparation for this bizarre school year. We sincerely want to thank all of you who have put in the extra time and effort.

And so, on these first days back for so many of you, we wish you a healthy, happy school year. Be innovative and courageous. Don't be afraid to take risks, try new things, share thoughts and ideas. And most importantly, don't forget who we work for and why what we do is so important -- our students. Remember, as much as we need each other, they need you.

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.


Catherine & Marilyn

Virtual Classroom Management

1. Create a routine for the classroom time

2. Minimize distractions at the beginning of class; Test the technology beforehand

3. Set behavioral expectations; Involve students in establishing norms

4. Set academic expectations; Emphasize the engagement of all students

5. Create connections with small group sessions; the Teacher meets with student 1-on-1 often to build relationships, check-in, and reach out.

6. Start slowly; focus on the process of online learning

*7. Balance equity of voice for different personalities...

*Balance Equity of Voice for Different Personalities

It is important to think about each student’s personality and the ways in which digital learning may be easy or challenging for them. Then structure the lesson so all students can be successful and participate. More reticent, or withdrawn students need more processing time, opportunities to express their thoughts with one or smaller groups of students before sharing with the whole group, and a safe environment for them to express themselves. More outgoing, talkative students need time to get their voices heard and share the excitement. Teachers can choose to mute or block certain students from speaking if they are dominating the conversation and can use the chatbox and commenting features to balance student voices. Teachers can also use nonverbals and hand features for students to share their answers.

All students in any grade need to have an engaging virtual classroom in order for them to remain on task and learning. Teachers can manage their online classrooms easily by preparing and creating these systems beforehand. This way, teachers won’t spend their online class time constantly redirecting behaviors and distractions but rather focusing on student output and academic achievement.

Virtual Classroom Management Tools


Online Stopwatch includes analog and digital timers as well as an egg timer, stopwatch (count up or down), talking clock, metronome, chess clock, an interval timer, and split lap timer. Timers can be displayed full screen and on interactive whiteboards.

Noise Control

Bouncy Balls uses the increased agitation of multicolored and sized balls to indicate sound level.

Calmness Counter uses an analog meter and gauge and lets teachers set microphone sensitivity.

Tracking Behavior

Class Dojo lets teachers provide immediate feedback by assigning and displaying positive or negative points for behavior by smartphone, whiteboard, or computer.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion... are they synonyms?

This article focuses on the tech industry, but it gives thorough explanations about what each of these terms means, along with accompanying thought exercises. How can we transfer this knowledge to our own virtual classroom and school settings?

Knowing What to Say

It’s not easy to know how to correct or confront any of the constituent members of our school community when we see/hear evidence of stereotyping, whether one-on-one or in group settings. Here’s a how-to guide for speaking up.

Let's Talk About Diverse Books

If you're looking to diversify your classroom library, check out this list.

If you are interested in engaging in conversation about literature and what to teach, at all age levels, follow @DisruptTexts on Twitter.