My original HMW question:
How might we engage younger children in meaningful conversations around diversity, equity and inclusion?
I started with this question, but realized quickly that engaging in conversations meant doing foundational work. Liz Kleinrock, @teachntransform, spoke about identity building blocks. Her book, Start Here, Start Now, became the spine for my learning and understanding. Through her and amazing mentors (the Cohort 21 Book Club and @tjagdeo), I went looking for those identity building blocks and where they lived in our class community.
Liz Kleinrock spoke about the “annoying” representation of diversity as the image of people from different backgrounds standing in a circle holding hands. She argued that diversity and multiculturalism is messy and challenging (hence my tangled string at the start of this post). I held these words close as I started my action plan. The first step was acknowledging my own identity, my privilege, my bias and how my teaching practices might silence voices in our classroom. I had to be open to discomfort, to mess, to listening, learning from criticism and to getting things wrong. There is no “end” to this action plan- instead, I’ve got a growing list of how I can continue to change and rethink what I’m doing with my teaching to honour and celebrate different voices in our class learning.