Community Building as World Building

An early elementary teacher details an engineering unit. Students design a model community — with no police or banks — in which everyone gets what they need.

If I Could Rewind That Morning

A former 5th-grade paraprofessional reflects on how racism shaped a student-teacher interaction in a classroom that also fostered trust, joy, and exploration.

Fighting for LGBTQ+ Youth and Families

Jody Sokolower interviews Melissa Bollow Tempel, the Wisconsin teacher — and former Rethinking Schools editor — fired for speaking out about her district’s decision to refuse to allow her 1st-grade students to sing “Rainbowland.”

Fatphobia Showed Up in My Classroom 

It is the noisiest time of the day at school. It’s lunchtime and I’m sitting with two of my 3rd graders in the basement cafeteria of our public school building […]

It’s a Big Fat Deal

A special education teacher tackles fatphobia in our schools head-on, pointing out how we fall far short in our efforts to rid it from the classroom and how fundamentally detrimental fatphobia is to teaching and learning.

The Voice of a Seed

I hope that centering Indigenous voices in the classroom and school garden will teach my students the value of Indigenous ways of knowing. As they develop an awareness of the social injustice and resilience that characterizes the stories of Indigenous peoples and their food cultures, I want them to be dissatisfied with the absence of Native narratives and seek out the voices of the tribes themselves.

Choreographing for Justice

An elementary teacher helps her students express themselves about social justice issues like the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter through movement and dance, and helps them see how dance can celebrate diversity.

“I Saw Eyes Begin to Widen”

Role plays can offer students engaging ways to learn, but require careful contextualization and follow-up. This article offers some cautions and guidance about using them. 

Big Reactions to Small Steps

Harrington Pangallo describes pushback for reading a book to answer a student question — “What does gay mean?” — and her response.

The Story of a Seed

An agriculture teacher describes teaching “every seed has a story” with 1st graders by honoring the story of, and planting, the Makah Ozette potato.

A Rhythm of Gratitude

We Are Grateful: OtsaliheligaBy Traci SorellIllustrated by Frané LessacCharlesbridge Publishing, 2018 My preschool-age children collect treasures from the ground that end up on our table. Bits of moss, Douglas fir […]

Writing for Justice

An elementary school teacher takes us inside his classroom to see how he builds on his students’ lives and passions to help them create persuasive essays.

Testing Our Limits

First graders, three at a time, use classroom computers to take standardized tests. Their teacher explains the impact on the students and herself.