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Archive - 2015

Breaking Out of The Bilingualism Double Standard

In the United States, we have a double standard regarding bilingualism in school. This double standard is a result of the implicit bias we have around immigrant students from non-European countries, especially those from Latin America. We approach linguistically diverse students learning English with a deficit mindset.  I cannot tell you the number of teachers…

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Five Tips for Using the End of School to Strengthen Academic Mindset

Well, Memorial Day is just around the corner and it’s all over but the shouting. Testing is behind us. Finals will come and go and there’ll still be a week or so of school left. As culturally responsive teachers, I think we often miss the opportunity to use the last few weeks of school to…

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Three Ways to Reclaim Cinco de Mayo

I grow up in San Francisco at a time when Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta were organizing the United Farm Worker’s Union and marching in the streets demanding better working conditions for Chicano/a migrant workers.   Yes, as an African American family involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s and Black Power Movement of…

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Four Tools for Interrupting Implicit Bias

I will never forget my first experience with implicit bias as an undergraduate at University of California, Berkeley. I had turned in my first in-class writing assignment in Medieval Literature. I loved the topic of courtly love and whatnot. The professor was an older White man and nice enough. There were no other people of…

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This is Your Brain on Implicit Bias

This is Part II in the 3 part series of posts on implicit bias In part I, we looked at what it means to validate diverse students’ experience with implicit bias. Culturally responsive teachers believe diverse students when they tell us that they are being rudely insulted, ignored, or profiled by adults because of their…

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No, DeAndre. It’s Not Your Imagination: What the DOJ Report Tells Us about Implicit Bias and Validation

Photo by Michael Fleshman/Flickr This is the first in a 3-part series on implicit bias and CRT.  val·i·date ˈvaləˌdāt/ (verb) To demonstrate or support the truth (of something) Synonyms: corroborate, back up, bear out, authenticate In culturally responsive teaching, validation is not so much a strategy as it is a foundational stance we take. It…

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Making CRT Manageable

Throughout the month of February, I have been on a virtual book sharing my book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, with teachers, instructional coaches, and principals. So rather than travelling from town to town on a plane, I’ve been traveling from blog to blog, giving a little “author talk” via guest posting. You can…

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Five Point Action Plan for Teaching Racially Sensitive Literature

Last week I led a seminar for a group of high school English teachers on how to teach racially sensitive (or racially charged) literature. Many were teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which uses the n-word 231 times. In their school district, the book is “restricted,” meaning they cannot teach it without going through mandatory…

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Getting Students to Take Off the Mask

As a student, I’ve had the privilege of having two highly skilled culturally responsive teachers. One was Mr. Ruane in 10th grade at George Washing High School in San Francisco. Mr. Ruane was a white teacher who coached football and taught African American Literature. What I remember most about him was how comfortable he was…

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