Blog Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors: Ensuring Students See Themselves and Others in Literature

by Cathy Potter In 1990, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop published an essay about the importance of providing young readers with diverse books that reflect the “multicultural nature of the world” in which we live. In the essay, Dr. Bishop coined the phrase “Windows, Mirrors and Sliding Glass Doors” to explain how children see themselves in…

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A classroom of students and their teacher

Defining Your Purpose as a Teacher

by Zoe Weil At the beginning of the teachers’ workshops I lead, I often facilitate an activity that invites participants to reflect upon their true mission as educators. Their personal missions always differ from the US Department of Education’s, which is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and…

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teens sitting on a curb using mobile devices

6 Videos for Teaching Students About Tech Bias and Influence

by Marsha Rakestraw Technology is not neutral. And while we’re increasingly learning about the pervasive influence of fake news and misinformation, we rarely consider that the algorithms and filters our tech uses contain bias. Those algorithms limit and shape what we see, how we spend our time, and what we think about. Those algorithms can…

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Resources for Teaching About Charlottesville, White Supremacy, Racism, and Hate

by Marsha Rakestraw Over the weekend, hatred and violence descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, as white nationalists amassed  to “take America back,” and opponents gathered to protest white supremacy and oppression. On Friday night white supremacists marched on the University of Virginia campus, carrying torches, chanting, and surrounding a small group of counterprotesters. On Saturday, people…

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eco-friendly

21 Children’s Picture Books for Exploring Eco-Friendly Actions

by Marsha Rakestraw Earth Day may be every day, but our relationship to the natural world often gets a little extra attention in April. Children are hungry to connect with their world and learn what they can do to make a positive difference. Check out these 21 children’s books that help inspire a desire to…

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Ending the Violence With Meaningful Solutions

I am a humane educator, a person dedicated to creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world through education. This past week’s killings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and five Dallas police officers underscore the necessity of educating a generation of solutionaries who have the capacity and the will to prevent such violence from continuing…

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hamburger

Moving Beyond “It’s a Personal Choice”

by Marsha  Rakestraw “It’s a personal choice.” If you’ve been a humane educator or changemaker for any length of time, you’ve probably heard those words frequently. You may even have said them yourself. We use them when we want to justify the choices we’re making and remove any sort of ethical consideration or right-or-wrong-ness from…

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people and animals

16 Children’s Picture Books About People Helping Animals

by Marsha Rakestraw Modeling a message of compassion for others is a vital part of creating a better world for all. Children’s picture books are a valuable means of sharing with younger children examples of people helping those in need, and of inspiring them to think critically about what it means to be a good…

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Resources: Think Therefore I Act

I Think Therefore I Act

Based on the Privilege Walk, this activity encourages students/participants to develop an awareness of the kinds of choices we make every day that impact other people, nonhuman animals, and the environment. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: A few class periods

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