A School Wide Intention: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
You may already be aware that over the past year, we have continuously taken steps to improve DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) at St. John's.
During the 2020/2021 school year, staff participated in a day of anti-bias professional development with Debbie LeeKeenan, a lecturer, consultant, author, and co-producer of the acclaimed film, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years.
During both the summer of 2020 and this past summer, staff also dedicated our summer reading to expanding our knowledge of diversity and anti-bias education, especially as it pertains to our work as early childhood educators.
Many of our all-staff meetings focused on our anti-bias education work in the classrooms. One question continued to spark deeper discussion; How do we effectively introduce this type of work in a predominately homogenous school community?
Both our professional development with Debbie LeeKeenan as well as our summer reading book have helped us gain stronger insight into how to best formulate anti-bias education goals that specifically pertain to our current classroom children while creating a learning environment to best foster these goals.
A Rainey Room Intention: Develop Authentic Identities
The first step to learning to understand and respect diversity in the larger society and world is for children to develop authentic identities. An authentic identity is based on personal abilities and interests as well as learning to value and respect our differences, even in groups that are seemingly homogenous. Authentic identities incorporate both a strong sense of oneself as an individual and the motivation and capacity to care about others.
To begin our year in Rainey Room, we will foster children's identities through provocations, discussions, and experiences that strengthen self -awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
What work are we currently doing in the classroom with the intention of developing stronger self-awareness and personal identities?