December 2021 Newsletter

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DEI Vision: The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion aspires to help create and sustain a district-wide culture that acts to ensure equal access to (diversity), equitable outcomes (equity)  and culturally responsive teaching (inclusion) which is essential to academic and operational excellence in Arlington Public Schools.

Social Identity Wheel: Self-reflection is necessary for growth in equity. Try this social identity activity and reflect on your responses. Our students, staff, and families’ identities should be valued assets to our school community. It is essential to understand our own identity and how it impacts our experiences and to in- turn reflect on how others’ identities impact the way in which they experience our school system.

1) Go through the five questions on the handout:

  1. What identities do you think about most often?
  2. What identities do you think about least often?
  3. What identities would you like to learn more about?
  4. What identities have the strongest effect on how you perceive yourself?
  5. What identities have the greatest effect on how others perceive you?

2) Why is it important to critically reflect on our identities?

3) What is the value in completing activities like this in your class?

This activity can be done for your own personal growth, it can also be done with students. More information.

The Social Identity Wheel worksheet is an activity that encourages students to identify social identities and reflect on the various ways those identities become visible or more keenly felt at different times, and how those identities impact the ways others perceive or treat them. The worksheet prompts students to fill in various social identities (such as race, gender, sex, ability disability, sexual orientation, etc.) and further categorize those identities based on which matter most in their self-perception and which matter most in others’ perception of them. The Social Identity Wheel can be used in conjunction with the Personal Identity Wheel to encourage students to reflect on the relationships and dissonances between their personal and social identities. The wheels can be used as a prompt for small or large group discussion or reflective writing on identity by using the Spectrum Activity, Questions of Identity.

What We’re Reading: DEI participates in a book study every 6 weeks to deepen our knowledge and sharpen our skills. We encourage you to read along with us.

  • Now reading: My Time to Speak by Ilia Calderón
  • Reading Next: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh

From the Voices of Students: The LIE, Watch a video (not captioned) of 4th grade elementary students bringing awareness to common biases, misperceptions, and assumptions. After watching this short video, think about ways that you could use information gleaned from this clip in your work if you desire to do so. Thanks for watching!

Virtual 2021 National Council of the Teachers of English Conference: Congratulations to our colleagues at Dorothy Hamm Middle School who presented at the NCTE2021 Conference. Watch the presentation, Empowering Teachers and Students: Action Steps to Anti-racist Teaching

Panel of participants: Ellen Smith – Principal of DHMS, Crystal Moore – Assistant Principal at Drew ES and former Equity and Excellence Coordinator at DHMS, Sally Donnelly – Reading Coach at DHMS, Amy Juengst – ELA 8 teacher at DHMS, Beth Sanderson – ELA 8 teacher at DHMS

You may also access the Padlet of resources being shared with conference participants.