Equity and Access Newsletter
Elementary Edition September 2019
Every Child Deserves a Champion
Every teacher has a student that for whatever reason, resonates with them. But there are those students that press all of your buttons at the same time. They are students that disrupt the classroom, who do not meet our expectation and who push boundaries and break the rules.
But, if we build relationships with these students, we will reap the benefits in our classroom. It’s complicated with the expectations that are placed on teachers and all the ever-growing demands. However, it is clear to see that if we are their champions now, it could change the trajectory of their lives. The Office of Equity and Access would like to thank our Equity Champions for all they do and a special thanks to our teachers the real Champions.
What's In Your Tool Box?
What can you do to ensure that everyone has a Champion in their corner, especially those students we find difficult to champion?
Here are some suggestions from Rita Pierson:
- Warm The Pot: You need to get to know the child before you can champion them. James Comer said, “No significant learning can come without a significant relationship.”
- Break The Single Story: Listen to but don’t take as verbatim what other teachers tell you about a child. Start anew. Give the child a chance and let others know about their successes!
- "Fight Their corner" outside of the classroom: Whenever possible, fight their corner! If other staff members hear you championing the child, the less likely the child is to miss out due to past perceptions of others.
- Make every step a learning opportunity: We all learn from our mistakes. Be sure to turn those mistakes into learning moments. Ask questions like what happened, why, and what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Try not to reflect on the negative but positive solutions.
- Work With not against: Students need to take ownership of the positive changes because they are the ones making them. You are the facilitator, so take the time to work with them and avoid making the changes for them.
- Reflect: Talk with them about what is working well. If something is not working, change it. The student needs to take ownership of the change, and they will drive it forward.
Hill, Lee. “Every Child Needs A Champion.” TeacherToolkit, 22 Nov. 2017, www.teachertoolkit.co.uk/2017/11/22/child-champion/.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales is a celebration of what migrants bring with them when they leave their homes. Dreamers is a story that reminds us that we are all dreamers bringing our gifts wherever we roam.
In this picture book with lyrical text and Spanish words interspersed Mexican American author Yuyi Morales retells her own immigration story. She describes how she carried her infant son across a bridge into America and her struggles to speak and understand the language. She tells how they found a place to belong in the public library where books became their key to reading, speaking, and writing. It includes a list of books that inspired Morales.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales is available in Springfield Public Schools Libraries
Did you Know?
Up Coming Events
September 15 - October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month
Celebremos! (Let's Celebrate)
Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. There are 20+ countries in which Spanish is the official language including Mexico, Spain, most of Central and South America and Equatorial Guinea in Africa. Spanish is also spoken widely in the Philippines and Puerto Rico. It’s the second most widely spoken language after Mandarin with over 450 million Spanish-speakers around the world!
There are many ways to incorporate Spanish and Spanish-speaking
characters, artwork, music, history, etc. Here are some links to websites to get your creativity flowing: