Kindness: Can It Be Taught? Using Kindness As an Instructional Tool

Yes, it can be taught! Through action research, daily interactions, project based learning, and a little help from technology, building a culture of kindness is not only feasible, it’s part of the curriculum! Think you have too much to cover? This session will explore how you can tie kindness to content and course skills while promoting and supporting SEL.

Authenticity as Method: Keeping it Real with Students

The curricula and methods of ELA can be powerful tools for reaching disempowered, disconnected students and motivating them to act, think, interact, and appreciate through the enchantments of language and story and expression. In a discussion format, a panel of early career, veteran, and preservice teachers share their approaches to cutting through the malaise and resistance often promoted by school environments to reconceive school as a space for humanistic, creative, and moral involvement.

Art as entryways and escape routes

In today’s educational landscape, it is essential for students to have meaningful opportunities to engage in humanizing and antiracist pedagogy. Art can serve as both an entryway and an escape route to help students understand and challenge oppression. As texts, art can reveal our reality, highlight the difficulties of marginalized groups, and provide a space for antiracist discourse and action. In our classrooms, the examination and creation of art as story and justice allows students to confront the realities of racism and other oppressive forces in our everyday lives and challenge themselves and others to think critically about the ways in which it manifests in our society. Art can act as an entryway to ignite dialogue, inspire voice, build community and foster collective action. Additionally, it can also be used as an escape route to explore and express the complexities of racism and its implications, as well as a means to escape oppressive structures. . In this session ELA teachers will learn how to use art in ten ways in our antiracist ELA classrooms.

Keeping it Real: Shaping Adolescents’ Identity and Agency With YAL & Action Research

The pandemic and social divisiveness has exacerbated inequities and made it difficult for teens to reflect on their place in the world. Apprenticing adolescents in action research grounded by inclusive Young Adult novels is an authentic and engaging way to reframe their civic learning and empower them to shape their world for healing, dreaming, and unity. The presenters will share work grounded in Freire’s Critical Literacy theory and further scaffolded by scholarship in action research and positioning. The presenters will model how to use Young Adult Literature and Critical Action Research to provide students the participatory spaces to critique the world and engage them with relevant interrogation of texts and exploration of of political language, civic values, and their agency in the world (Cammarota & Fine, 2008, Freire, 2016; Mirra & Garcia, 2017). As educators continue to shape literacy practices, we recognize schools, one of the largest enculturating institutions in the world, have the opportunity to teach adolescents how to use literacy to navigate humanity & social contexts. This presentation is of interest to educators wishing to reimagine a liberating pedagogy that privileges inclusive adolescent voices.

The Larry Johannessen New Teacher Forum

This interactive discussion session will address fears, hopes, and strategies for success in teaching. Student teachers and teachers in their first few years of services are invited to talk about challenges and victories. Experienced teachers and others who care about the struggles of novice teachers are encouraged to attend and share their ideas.