New Online Workshop Series from Rethinking Schools

Teaching for Social Justice During the Pandemic: Lessons from The New Teacher Book 

Join The New Teacher Book editors, authors, and early career teacher-scholars who wrote and shaped this book. Sign up for the entire workshop series or sign up for one workshop at a time. Space is limited in these workshops to 30 participants. Workshops will not be recorded. ASL interpretation is available by request.

All sessions begin at 4pm PT, 6pm CT, and 7pm ET.

Click here to learn more about The New Teacher Book: Finding purpose, balance, and hope during your first years in the classroom.

Restorative Justice in the Classroom

Thursday, October 8

Erik Ruin

When students are scared, uncomfortable, unseen, or not served by systems, they act out. Restorative justice practices quell the fear, bridge the comfort, make visible those who hid behind masks before the fear manifested in disruption. Too much of what educators do in schools is reactive to “behavior” issues, expecting we can put band-aids on bullet wounds and call it a day. Counter to traditional disciplinary methods in schools, restorative practices are proactive in setting up classrooms where students are seen and given opportunities to share their voices. In this workshop, educators will learn how to develop community circles and online restorative practices as they participate in virtual circles, spectrum, and community building activities.

Camila Arze Torres Goitia teaches Social Studies at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon. She is an Oregon Writing Project coach and frequently publishes in Rethinking Schools magazines and books. 

Art Imitates Life, Life Imitates Ads 
Thursday, October 22

As the country re-examines its relationship with “monuments,” with history, with art and public space, we, as educators, must examine our roles as curators of art analysis in our classrooms. Contemporary art interacts with society in ways that are both reactive and predictive. In this workshop we will use the art of Hank Willis Thomas and other contemporary artists as a source for our own writing, uncovering the poetry, narratives, and essays that live in their artistry. To examine work like Thomas’s and others’ is to recognize the relationship between art and life, moments and monuments, two sides of the same mirror always chasing each other’s reflection. 

Jayme Causey teaches language arts at Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. He is an Oregon Writing Project coach.

“We Will Not Drown, We Will Fight”: Teaching Climate Change, Island Solidarity, and Indigenous Rights
Thursday, November 5

Photo: Moé Yonamine

This workshop will demonstrate activities for teaching about climate justice with the resistance of Indigenous Pacific Island peoples at the forefront. Participants will explore both historical and recent experiences of different island territories and nations through engaging in role play and in connecting with the Pacific Climate Warriors movement through poetry. 

Moé Yonamine teaches at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon. She is a Rethinking Schools editor and co-editor of the third edition of The New Teacher Book.   

Engaging Strategies in Social Justice Units: Using the Tuskegee Syphilis Study as a Model
Thursday, November 19

Participants will examine two strategies to use in social justice units that are active and engaging as well as how to use warm-ups to connect to students’ lives. We will discuss what to highlight and what to avoid when teaching about injustices across content areas. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study will be the model and we will also look at a brief history of the study. 

Gretchen Kraig-Turner is a science teacher at Burlington-Edison High School in Washington. She is on the Rethinking Schools Science Editorial Committee.   

From Pronouns to Curriculum: Supporting Our LGBTQ+ Students
Thursday, December 3

Alaura Borealis

In a time of incredible isolation, LGBTQ+ students are cooped up in homes that may or may not allow them to be their authentic selves. They may be dealing with teachers and learning management systems that cannot get their names or pronouns right. They may have peers who find ways to bully them online. What are educators doing to create online spaces that welcome and normalize LGBTQ+ lives? In this workshop, we will queer the curriculum in order to show all Youth that being LGBTQ+ is normal. 

Mykhiel Deysch is a language arts teacher at Grant High School in Portland, Oregon. They have published articles in Rethinking Schools. They are an Oregon Writing Project coach. 

Teaching Poetry for Joy and Justice 
Thursday, December 17

Sawsan Chalabi

Through poetry, we invite our students’ lives — the “landscape and bread” of their homes, their ancestors, their struggles and joys — into classrooms as subjects worthy of study. While students learn the language of the academy about stanzas and line breaks, similes and metaphors, they must first learn that poetry can be playful, that it can use ordinary, everyday language, and sound like their grandma or their aunts laughing together on the front porch, that it can be written in house slippers. In this poetry workshop, participants will reclaim any part of our lives that society has degraded, humiliated, or shamed, and raise it up, share it, and sing praises to the “unanimous blood/of those who struggle,” as the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton urged us in his poem “Like You.” 

Linda Christensen is the director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, a Rethinking Schools editor, and author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word, Teaching for Joy and Justice, and  co-editor of Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice.