Teachers of Color Mentorship News
April 5, 2023 Workshop Session Summaries
It is Time to Circle Up! - In her session on circles, Jamie Barton, Leadership Administrator at Oak Ridge Elementary School of Leadership, Environmental and Health Sciences, invited us all to join a circle. We had the opportunity to share, reflect, and connect over our experiences in circles. Jamie led us through guidelines she adheres to such as centerpieces, talking pieces, how to start, and how to be present. She shared with us a sample circle and a blank medicine wheel that she has used at her school. Jamie is open to connect with you more about how to implement circles in your personal and professional lives. If you want to learn more about Jamie, check out her virtual conversation with the Science Museum of Minnesota’s February community curator talk. She talks “about huipiles, parallels between Natives in the United States and Guatemalan Mayans, and advocacy for underrepresented students in the education system” which was featured in AMAZEWorks April Newsletter: Making Space for Diversity.
We Can Do Better: An Asset-Based Approach to Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students - In this session, educators learned about Erica Solorio’s experiences as a Latina ELD Teacher/SWEL Coach in District 196 and how she shifted her mindset towards serving culturally and linguistically diverse students with an asset-based approach. Participants reflected upon the language used in our schools and systems and considered other choices that bring forth the gifts their students share with them. They also learned some new strategies to apply immediately to their teaching that benefits all learners in the classroom. Click on this link to (re)read Erica’s slideshow.
Decolonizing Your Practice: Recognizing, Challenging, and Dismantling Systems of White Supremacy in the Classroom - José Martínez, a Spanish teacher, Digital Resource Teacher, and Soccer Coach at Eagan High School facilitated this activity. The focus of this session was to challenge our members to evaluate and reflect on their methods and practices. As educators we must continuously assess whether our current practices and learning environments reflect the supremacy of white Eurocentric culture. The instruction and practice in this session involved brainstorming, partnerships and developing new strategies. Each member added their challenge to an evaluation grid then worked through ways to make effective change. Click on his slideshow to view how groups implemented the three steps to decolonizing their practices.
Make Time to Connect
You still have time to connect with your partner - mentor/mentee! Send an email. Go out for coffee. Mail a notecard.
Image from freepik.com
"Reflect, Connect, and Celebrate"
The gathering will be on May 3, 2023 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the School of Environmental Studies. See your calendar invite for more information. Be ready to answer those 4 questions.
Attend "One District, Many Voices"
This districtwide event will be held at Apple Valley High School on May 5, 2023 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and/or to support.
Explore Religious Holidays
Learn about the celebrations that your students have, such as Eid-al-Fitr and Rosh Hashanah, through children's books, like Our Favorite Day of the Year.
Resources for Your Mind, Body, & Soul
It is a way to meditate by appreciating your surroundings. It originated from Japan and is sometimes called forest bathing or shinrin-yoku. The benefits include improve sleep quality and mood, relieve stress, reduce anxiety and find calm. You can travel to these places for some mindful practices. There are also some simple practices, such as:*Stand still in nature
*Point out one thing that is bringing you calm
*Listen to the sounds of the forest
More ideas can be found in the, "Noise Refuge and Wellness: A Booklet of Coping skills and Resources to Combat the Noise Within You," pp. 51-56 that was mailed to you in December.
Things To Do During AAPI Month
If you want some ways to enjoy May's Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, you could visit places, such as the Weisman Art Museum for their collection of traditional Korean furniture or go to Asia Mall for the popular mochi donuts. You could experience Theater Mu's AAPI Generations Conference from May 19-21, 2023 at Park Square Theatre.
Image from walkerart.org