NYSTC Equity Challenge-Week 1

Stretching Our Thinking

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  • Last updated January 14, 2022 at 10:52 AM by maureenkendrick
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Choose one of the options from the Stretching Our Thinking section from this week's Equity Challenge. Tell which option you chose and describe something that resonated with you from that selection.
These are the Stretching Our Thinking option titles.  However, you will have to access the links on the Equity Challenge.
Option 1: Read “What is Racial Equity” from the Center for Social Inclusion
Option 2: Read: Beware of Equity Traps and Tropes by Jamila Dugan
Option 3: Watch: The Danger of a Single Story by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

All posted evidence

The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The speaker does a great job of explaining how dangerous it is to have the perspective of a single story. It also shows how easily it can be to have stereotypes about different people/places based on the idea of a single story.  The way in which she explains it makes it very relatable and it becomes easy to see how easily stereotypes can be developed on many topics, people, and places.
As educators we must be aware of what single stories we have of specific children or groups that we teach and how that impacts our opinions and therefore instruction.
Also it highlights how important it is for us to make sure we give students a "balance of stories" as stories can "dispossess and malign or empower and humanize".
josywilson 4 months ago

“Beware of Equity traps and tropes”-Jamila Dugan

“Beware of Equity traps and tropes”-Jamila Dugan Many of the traps and Tropes resignated with me in my time throughout the district. The big red flag for me was the “Blanket Equity”. As a math teacher, I have gone through so many mandated scripted programs that were created to be “culturally responsive” and equitable to my students that would “bridge the gap” between where they are and where they should be. Unfortunately I am not seeing an improvement in this category, and I have had to start to shift my thinking to what is best for my students rather than what is being required of me. I connected deeply with the spray and pray equity and I am entirely guilty. I take a lot of professional developments and enjoy implementing new styles and ways of thinking into the classroom, but the reality is that I will implement them for a period of time before I am onto the next and focusing on something else. Not that it is an excuse, because the excuse “there is no time” is not a valid one. As a teacher, we went into it knowing we would never get enough time.
kodona97 5 months ago

Beware of Equity Traps & Tropes

What resonated with me was the discussion of ongoing education and training. Most of us in SCSD have been trained in Implicit Bias and while yes, it made me think more about my own personal bias and those biases that aren't glaringly loud to other we haven't had much training since the initial. It surprised me how quickly our training can fade after only three months. 
brittany_button 5 months ago

I selected Option 3, The Danger of a Single Story. Ms. Adichie demonstrates how important it is to expose students to different cultures.

For the benefit of all our students, they should be made aware of the different cultures and ethnicities that exist in the world, as well as the successes and challenges each have faced. Without this access, students develop in a vacuum which fails them and allows them to miss out on different ways of thinking and problem solving. Having grown up with many pre and post WWII immigrants, I was able to hear of the adversity they faced and admire their ability to overcome that adversity.
sue225 5 months ago

I read about racial equity. What resonated is fairness/ justice as well as the continual practice focusing on change for people of color.

afurcinito 5 months ago

Beware of Equity Traps and Tropes

I read Beware of Equity Traps and Tropes. What resonated with me the most was that ensuring high outcomes for all in schools is not a task that can be checked off a list. Equity isn't a destination but an unwavering commitment to a journey. It can be easy to focus on where we hope to land and lose sight of the deliberate daily actions that constitute the process. In the journey of working toward equity, educators have to be careful not to be detoured by "easy fixes" or changes that don't get to the root of the problem.
krich 5 months ago

After choosing Option3, The Danger of a Single Story, it reminds us of the necessity of a broad education in cultures and people.

sue225 5 months ago

The Danger of a Single Story

This is actually the second time that I have watched this video of the Danger of a Single Story. Both times I got such different things from watching Chimamanda speak. This time watching, I hurt for Chimamanda as she said that in her childhood all of the stories that she would write mimicked the stories that she would read. Her characters were white, blue eyed and played in the snow. The unintended consequence of reading popular stories was that she didn't know that people like herself could exist as main characters. This reminded me of the importance of representation of the children that we teach. It is so important that they see themselves as main characters and that they see their cultures portrayed in a varied of settings and ways. For example, not portraying all Asian families as Chinese and obviously not portraying all African characters as poor, needing water and barefoot (this is an issue I found in our ENL curriculum). 

Finally, it really struck me how single stories are a matter of power. Chimamanda did not only have a single story of America because of the economic power that the US holds, she was exposed to movies, various stories and shows of the American culture. On the contrary, we are often only exposed to a single story of so many cultures which create bias and stereotypes. As Chimamanda stated, stereotypes are incomplete. And it's our job as educators to ensure that students think critically and see the complete story of someone's culture and home. 
rking 5 months ago

Beware of Equity Traps and Tropes

I read “Beware of Equity Traps and Tropes” 

While reading this selection one of the sub categories that stuck out to me was ‘Doing Equity’. I’ve seen a few different SEL curriculums come my way during my time and it’s not always made clear why these specific programs were chosen. Also, there usually isn’t a discussion on how these programs are going to meet the specific needs of our students. 
kmorrison 5 months ago

The Danger of a Single Story

The Danger of a Single Story
  • She is so right about kids writing about what they see in book, she says a lot of important points
  • Saved her from having a single story of what books are.
    • this is so eye opening to what our kids have gone through. I am lucky to work with teachers that have made change in the curriculum before it was the norm!
  • A single story of ____ -
    • we can’t not make preconceived notions about our students, their cultures, home life, religion, and even past behaviors.
  • Different versions of the same story
    • Kids must see as well in their lives, the same things happening over and over again but with different people or teachers and nothing changes. However, they might just think nothing will ever change.
  • We can’t not make single stories of students, we have the power they don’t, so we control their stories. We tell the story of kids.
    • This makes me first think of behavior kids – I mention a example in my last post
  • Stereotypes are incomplete – so true
dahobb54 5 months ago

Traps & Tropes

What resonated with me is the need to understand the common equity traps and tropes, so that we can recognize and consciously work to avoid them. An awareness of the common mistakes not only allows us to see them for what they are, but also to glimpse what unintended negative consequences will most likely ensue if not mitigated. With the heavy political influence on education, our definition of acceptable current practices is easily swayed as the pendulum of opinion and practice swings in opposite directions. So stakeholders may think they are implemening a new strategy to "fix" a problem, when in reality it has already been tried before and found to be ineffective. I believe knowing the most common pitfalls offers some guidance as to what NOT to try to avoid repeating history. 
rewilk02 5 months ago

Stories can dispossess, but can also can humanize and repair.

I watched the "Danger of the Single Story" Ted Talk. I thought it was interesting when she talked about how formative early reading is to early writing, and how even though Nigeria was hot, and she ate mangos, she wrote about the lovely weather and eating apples like in the American & British stories she read. I liked that she didn't bash these books, but instead explained how important it was to get African stories out as well, so people didn't only think of Africa as a single story of catastrophe. She said that the problem with stereotypes aren't that they're untrue, but that they're incomplete. Telling a single stereotypical story, like what frequently happens when people think or talk about Africa, dispossesses a people. We need to cast off our well-meaning pity and highlight the many stories of this continent, and all people groups. 
mlivin22 5 months ago