See the Forest: Good Reads to See the Big Picture
I spontaneously booked a flight to Southern California this weekend. We're already on summer break in much of Hawai'i, and I decided to come home, hug my parents, see people I care about and grab some decent Mexican food.
I spent much of the trip in my car-- I was dividing time between Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Riverside which, if you know SoCal, is a ridiculous amount of driving-- silently watching the hills of the Inland Empire, the urban blocks of Koreatown, or the canyons of my youth.
In that time, I was able to begin really processing this past school year-- both what I loved and what I know needs to happen next year. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day towards the end of the year, and I'm just now finding the time to slowly pull away from the trees of those last few weeks to see the forest I face ahead.
I'd love to hear from other educators who, as they wind down the year, are also thinking about what they're hoping these next few months of respite bring, and what they hope to see in the education discussion in the future. What stories, topics, and discussions should we be having to enter our years to come with minds focused on serving students and communities better?
I'm still writing and processing myself (I'm an introvert in that way), but here are some reads that have been essential to that process so far:
- The Teacher Project and Slate's project on the "Majority-Minority" future of education (despite using "majority-minority), is an amazing state-by-state and community process.
- Alexandria Neason's piece on Hawaiian Immersion charter schools is particularly close to my heart, and made me think about the role of charters in education for communities of color.
- Melinda Anderson's look at the education (or lack thereof) of incarcerated students in The Atlantic is a powerful reminder of how deep the roots of our systemic inequities go.
- Nikole Hannah-Jones opened up about how segregation, race, and education intersected within her own family and choosing a school for her own daughter in The New York Times Magazine.
- Jose Luis Vilson breaks down what "diversity" actually means for teachers of color in education and education reform for The Progressive.
- The New Yorker ran an excellent piece on campus activism at the higher education level.
- NPR's Code Switch has a podcast! In the first episode they discuss the concept of whiteness! Clearly, this is going to push a lot of us as educators to reflect on ourselves, and I'm so excited to take that journey.
- Rusul Alurbail always helps bring me back to the core of the work whenever I read her writing. She discusses why we should care about equity and social justice, and has some great teaching ideas in there as well.
Finally, thanks Kyle Stokes for sharing this adorable elementary school mariachi band. It made me end the week with a smile. I hope as we head into mid-June, it does the same for you.