by Kristin Peck, 2nd Grade Teacher
This year, April Greene, Tasha Jackson-Jones, and I were extremely fortunate educators. Not only were we able to share our teams’ work around identity, social justice, and activism with colleagues at the NAIS People of Color Conference (a national conference that draws educators from all over the country), but we had the opportunity to spend priceless hours together discussing our curriculum, comparing our experiences, and strengthening our bond as educators at this remarkable school—remarkable not just because it is Lowell, but remarkable because of the community’s active work around identity, equity, and inclusion.
When we looked for workshops specific to K–2, we found a few. There are colleagues across the country who are doing amazing work. However, identity, social justice, and activism did not appear to be heavily represented topics in the younger grades. Why?
We were determined to beef up curriculum at Lowell and began working with our teams to create our own resources and units. Teaching Tolerance provided invaluable resources, and we realized that there are enough resources out there to create solid identity, social justice, and activism units for young children.
Take risks with your kids; ask the hard questions; invite the hard conversations. Document what you do so that you can share ideas with others. Ask, How can we make this more relevant and impactful for children?