Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

Land acknowledgements have become features of educational spaces. We’re in contact with them in email signatures, website homepages, at the start of conferences, and more, replicated or repeated seemingly from templates. In the classroom, land acknowledgements are often couched in a conversation with #decolonizing a lesson. But are these statements doing what we want them to do?  Continue reading Land Acknowledgements as Living Things

Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty

Louisville is the most diverse city in Kentucky and our public school system is home to 96,000 students. We are the 29th largest school district in the US. Home to 500 students Pre K-5, Hawthorne Elementary is the only full school Spanish immersion program in the Louisville area. Our students share two teachers during a school day, receiving instruction for math and science in Spanish and social studies and ELA in English. Our vision is to develop globally and culturally competent learners each day through our actions, our studies, and our school community. Embracing a school-wide Explorer Mindset in collaboration with National Geographic aligned perfectly with our vision and the path we hope to cultivate going forward. We knew our next step was to roll out the nuts and bolts, supporting educators as they set about the path of embracing the Explorer Mindset that National Geographic teaches. Continue reading Exploring as a School Community in the Face of Uncertainty

What can we learn from the trees?

significant value in letting nature be our educator. Whenever I would take my students outside, new questions, observations and connections would arise. This led me to be flexible in my lessons and let the students’ inquiries shape our learning. Trees have always been a subject of interest for me, so when I noticed my class sharing the same passion, I knew that I had to act on it. It was time to center ourselves around the significance of the trees and the stories they have to tell. My class and I journeyed outside most days with the sole purpose to learn and develop a deeper meaning of the natural world. Thus, we became tree detectives, seeking to answer an essential question: What can I learn from the trees? Continue reading What can we learn from the trees?

Black History is every day

For me, my love of tea cakes began as an homage to my grandmother. I still see her rolling the dough and cutting the tea cakes with a glass jar, while I wait for them to come out of the oven. Tea cakes were what we had to connect us to our family, our community, and our past. My sisters and I in the mid 1980s decided to open a restaurant without really knowing what we were doing. We served soul food and one of the things we served was a tea cake. Tea cakes were always around in my life. I realized so many of my family members made tea cakes but they made them at home. We never had them in restaurants, but they were always around. So we decided to bring them into the restaurant. When the restaurant closed, I found someone who would convert my recipe into one that could be produced at a larger scale. Over time, my calling has become to elevate the tea cake to its rightful place as a cultural touchstone and pay homage to our ancestors. The tea cake was a way to still savor life and have something sweet even when things were hard.  Continue reading Black History is every day