June 29

The Sunday Evening Review: June 28, 2020

Each week that I continue to engage with my #EduTwitter friends and my ever-growing PLN, I am so inspired and uplifted by all the wonderful things educators are involved in even during these uncertain times. 

This week, once again, has been filled with enjoyable conversations, engaging and informative learning experiences, and opportunities to connect with others on a significant level, all within the Twitter platform. 

#EduTwitter has so much to offer educators in terms of growth, and I know when we return to school this fall, despite the learning environments into which we will re-enter, educators will come to task more empowered and invigorated than ever before. 

Below are just a few of the amazing things I have had the opportunity to experience on @Twitter this week…

Hope you enjoy this week’s Sunday Evening Review!

#LeadLAP Leading by Learning Summer Series: Establishing Your Grit Crew

As we think ahead to moving back into the classroom this fall, we must know that our work is only just beginning as we seek to educate students on matters of racism and social injustice. Having a close network of friends who are committed to doing the work with you will be highly important. In this week’s chat, TraciBrowder led participants through the discussion as we identified the individuals who will serve as our allies while implementing anti-racism education within our curricula and throughout our schools.

For those of you who have continued to join in the #LeadLAP summer learning series, “Leading by Learning,” co-hosted by @TraciBrowder, @shelley_burgess, @BethHouf, and myself, you might have noticed a slight change in our hashtag this week. For the past few weeks, we have focused on developing our #GritCrew, i.e., the group of individuals with whom we will surround ourselves as we do the work necessary to bring anti-racism education to the forefront in our classrooms.

This week, we have slightly re-fashioned our hashtag. We are now #GritCrewEDU. This hashtag embodies the notion that our Grit Crew is specifically focused on developing the kind of “grit” necessary to help our students, our schools, and our districts to become multicultural, respectful, and socially-aware institutions that foster anti-racist attitudes in all stakeholders. 

Check out this week’s Lead Like a Pirate blog post for the Lead Up:

As we continue building our #GritCrewEDU, we want to be certain to seek out individuals who possess the characteristics necessary to confront controversy alongside us and who will stand with us, even when times are toughest. 

While we have a tremendous online #GritCrewEDU, made up of courageous educators from within our Twitter PLN, we must also ensure we are seeking to identify individuals within our buildings and our districts who will be diligent and fearless in our fight when we do return to our students this fall–as this is when the next phase of our work continues. 

Dr. VaShawn Smith gives us some great advice as we seek to build our own #GritCrewEDU:

To understand more about what it means to be part of a “Grit Crew,” check out Traci Browder’s powerful breakdown of each word in her Season 2 Episode 11 podcast

We will continue our discussion throughout this week with occasional slow chat questions and reflections. Look for ways to connect and respond with the #LeadLAP #GritCrewEDU hashtags throughout the week. 

Here is this week’s Slow Chat question:

#LeadLAP chats take place every Saturday morning at 9:30am CT/10:30am ET.

Teaching Resources

Here are a few anti-racism education tools and resources that may help you as you continue learning and growing in order to tackle tough issues with kids when we return to school:

Google Doc of All #LeadLAP #GritCrewEDU Resources curated by @BethHouf, which includes these resources from 6/27 #LeadLAP chat:

Wakelet (@Wakelet) Collection of Anti-Racism Education Resources:

This is a very powerful, favorite video of mine. Please take the time to watch to learn about why it is important that we make African American Studies part of our curriculum. I promise you will not only be educated, but you WILL be entertained!

“Does African American Studies Matter?” TEDX Buffalo. Dr. Kush K. Bhardwaj

Keeping Up with the Conversation

Brian Jones, Associate Director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Haymarket Books brought us an amazing conversation with the voices of America’s leading black educators and scholars. In their video conversation, Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of our Schools, Bettina Love, Gholdy Muhammad, and Dena Simmons, Ed.D. share their views on how abolitionist educators can “make the most of this moment to fight for humane, liberatory, anti-racist schooling for black youth and for all youth.”

Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of our Schools

Also, Hedreich Nichols (@Hedreich) continues to provide us with “Equity Strategies for Busy People” in her weekly Youtube.com broadcast Small Bites

Episode 2 (June 19th) brings us to a very important consideration as we think about returning to school this fall to students of color who may be living in fear beneath the current civil unrest related to racism and social injustice. 

Small Bites: Equity Strategies for Busy People

As the parent of a child of color myself, Hedreich’s concerns resonated with me greatly. Every single day, I worry about whether my child will also remain safe when he leaves home simply because of the color of his skin. 

Hedreich’s point brought me to the idea that as educators, we often refer to all of our students as “our kids.” If we truly do envision our students “our kids,” can we say that we have that same parental concern for our students of color that Hedreich shares in the story about her son? Are we concerned about how our students of color feel as they physically navigate the world around them? Do they feel afraid in certain physical spaces? Do they feel safe in the color of their skin depending on where they are in the community? Do our schools provide a safe haven for students of color from these feelings?

Hedreich challenges us to think about these kinds of questions and others as we seek to bring ourselves to an awareness of the systemic racism that plagues black and brown children across the nation and around the world. When we talk about moving into uncomfortable conversations, this is one we cannot avoid. I am grateful to Hedreich for bringing this topic forward.

What I’m Reading:

As we gear up to return to school this fall, we must continue refining our practice and building our collection of resources and tools to help us facilitate education within mid-pandemic learning structures. Regardless of the classroom learning environment we will enter–distance learning, a full return to the physical classroom, or a split between both–we need to be more prepared than any other year. To help me prepare for what lies ahead, here’s what I’m reading now:

In My Hands Now (well, on my tablet!):

Recovery Mode by Pushing Boundaries Consulting. As we move back to school amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, educators must find solutions to effectively deal with the “unexpected and rapid change” we often experience at school. Recovery Mode is filled with suggestions and insights from education experts who can help us do just that. And the bonus, this book is FREE! Download it here!

Highlighted Excerpt:

In his chapter, “Educators Who Accept Recovery,” Justin Ashely discusses the effects of crises on educators’ mental health and the idea that depression often follows traumatic events. As Justin walks readers through the “Spheres of Grief,” he also shares ways in which educators and others can work through trauma-induced depression. Justin shares the story of the Kaluli people of the New Guinea Highlands who, when collectively evaluated, demonstrated a less than .05% depression rate. According to Justin, this is likely due to their lack of access to technology and their nomadic lifestyles which involve movement related to hunting, gathering, and wandering the woods as a means of survival. Justin suggests that educators should also embrace a similar “nomadic” lifestyle by exploring their emotional well-being and self-awareness through adventurous movement in order to be fully prepared to return to Post-Covid learning this fall. Click on the video below to listen to Justin talk about his chapter and how we can be better prepared when we see our students again this fall:

Tweet of the Week

This, I could NOT wait to share!

Taylor Armstrong always “brings it” to the Twitterverse! Friday, while we listened to the Drive with Chey Cheney and Pav Wander, Taylor could not contain his excitement and enthusiasm and dropped into the Publix parking lot for a little solo dance party! We love your energy, Taylor!

Listen to The Drive on VoicEd Radio every Friday morning beginning at 9:00 am ET.

This Week’s Who to Follow

Jillian DuBois is such a wonderful part of my PLN! I am always so grateful for her uplifting words and for being able to learn through her creativity! 

Jillian is continuously seeking ways to capture and share her joy with others. Check out her beautiful website #impartEDjoy to learn more about her mission and to see all her beautiful #sketchnotes that deeply and artfully capture the essence of her learning experiences.

Jillian will bring so much light and joy to you every day! Be sure to give here a follow here.

Chats I’m Looking Forward to This Week…

#rethink_learning – Monday, June 29, at 7:00 pm ET

Barbara Bray and friends, Bethany Hill & Shelly Vohra, will discuss “Heartwork in a Rapidly Changing World.” I love the engaging conversation and excellent moderators Barbara always brings guests of her chat!

#masterychat – Thursday, July 2, at 8:00 pm ET

“In a more conscious effort to listen better, learn better…be better…regarding racial issues in our country,” the Teach Better Team is bringing us a new learning collection and chat series called “Conversations for Change.” Their usual Thursday night #masterychat will allow participants a safe space to discuss concerns and brainstorm effective solutions on matters related to anti-racism education, social injustice, and racism awareness.

Setbacks & Breakthroughs

Each week continues to bring us challenges. We often wonder if the work we are doing is worth it, if we should just give up sometimes. My week had been filled with exactly those thoughts, so today, I shared how I was feeling with my family and I was absolutely moved and humbled by their response. Their encouragement, their love, and their push back were just what I needed to help re-energize me!

I challenge you, when you are feeling discouraged or afraid, or when you are feeling like the work you are doing isn’t worth it, step away and find a friend, a loved one, who will bring you back to solid ground. When we doubt ourselves, it is simply Fear just trying to hinder us from living the lives we were meant to live. Your friends and loved ones will remind you of that. Just ask them!

You have much to conquer, my friends! Don’t allow four ugly, little letters to keep you from changing us and the world for the better! We need you!

Read this beautiful and encouraging blog post by Maria Erving to help you deal with any fears you may be facing this week! Follow Maria here.

Joseph Campbell quote about cave

Thanks for sticking around, friends! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the great things happening in #EduTwitter and beyond! 

Here’s to a fantastic week ahead. I look forward to learning and growing with you!

Connect with me.

Twitter: @DHarrisEdS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/root2canopy

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawnmharrris/

Email: dawnharris@root2canopy.com 

On the Web: www.root2canopy.com 


Dawn Harris

Dawn Harris

I am a Secondary English Educator in SW Ohio & Associate Professor at Wright State University in the Graduate Teaching Program. I enjoy writing and presenting about all things education.

  1. This is ALL HEART. I love the way you show passion for everything that you write.
    I cannot wait to digest all of this information and take in every ounce of your wisdom + reflection.
    Thank you for ALL you do!

  2. Thank you, Jillian! I appreciate how you take time out of your day to lift us up on Twitter and how you always sprinkle us with your #impartEDjoy!

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