Timeframe: Sep 2019 - Jun 2020
Goal: An Introduction to Equity
Who: English Department Equity Team ↔ Whole Department
To begin the process of exploring equity in our instruction and the curriculum, we would first want to explore issues of equity in our society, and discuss our own experiences with equity work as professionals. The first year would be devoted to the following questions we would explore:
- Why is equity work a necessity in our area of instruction?
- How do students see themselves in our curriculum and through our instruction?
- How do we feel professionally about taking on this work? What areas of the work make us nervous or uncomfortable?
- How do we address issues of pejorative language that emerge from texts?
We would use activities from SEED, Beyond Diversity, and other programs to first ground us in some experiences before we would move into the curriculum. The process will include individual reflection about each department member's feelings of preparedness to address issues of equity in the classroom.
From this point forward, the equity goal will take two tracks: individual professional development and curricular revision.
Meeting 1: Institute Day 1 ‐ 08/22/19 "Defining Equity"
- to share a definition of "educational equity" developed by the all‐school Equity
Strategic Planning Committee
- to reflect on individual department members' understanding of equity work
- to differentiate between "diversity" and "equity"
- to reflect on what makes equity work challenging
- to differentiate between personal and curricular equity work
Meeting 2: Department Meeting ‐ 09/04/19 "Introduction to Equity"
- to explore why equity work is necessary in (A) our school community, (B) our professional/personal development as educators and (C) our areas of instruction
- to provide a list of equity professional development opportunities
- to reflect on how we teach texts with pejorative language, racial epithets, and the N‐word
Meeting 3: Department Retreat ‐ 09/06/19 "Introducing the "Race and" Approach"
- to present norms and agreements that will allow department members to engage in conversations focused on racial equity based on the Courageous Conversations mode
- to present materials that help the group to explore and respond to the question: "Why is racial equity work necessary in our school community?"
- to experiment with how we create a safe environment for students in how we handle text with pejorative language
Meeting 4: Department Meeting ‐ 10/25/19 "Developing Racial Consciousness"
- to explore how race impacts us in our everyday lives
- to establish an understanding of "racial consciousness"
Meeting 5: Department Meeting - 11/06/19 "Language and Its Impact"
- to explore how the language of race impacts students of color
- to establish best practices for dealing with racially charged language in print and the classroom