1. Teaching in the Undertow: Revisiting Pull of Schooling-as-usual By: Gregory Michie

Being a new teacher can push you out of your comfort zone, and you may feel like an outsider. In order to overcome this, as teachers we can begin by seeking allies like teachers within the school and people in the community around you. Becoming a teacher is a life journey, so you need to choose the right battles and never lose sight on the type of teacher you want to become.

2.    The Brown Kids Can’t be in Our Club By: Rita Tenorio

We live in a racist society where children at an early age discover racist attitudes within a larger context. With children, we can explore racial and cultural differences with age appropriate activities and materials. As teachers, it is wrong to ignore the issues of racism. We should stand up and make children at a young age aware that we are all unique and are to be accepted within society.

3.    What can I do when a student makes a racist or sexist remark? By: Rita Tenorio

If an issue of racism or sexism is brought up in class, teachers should deal with it and respond appropriately. These issues should be a discussion of why the words should not be used, and strive towards finding alternative ways of expressing one’s self in the future. If we ignore these remarks, students will begin to adapt the view that it is normal and acceptable to speak in negative ways.

4.    Framing the Family Tree By: Sudie Hofmann

Many teacher preparation programs bring up family diversity without realizing the effects it can have on children. It is important to have support between the teacher and parent. We must engage students in creative and secure ways when learning about their private or family lives, because children come from all different backgrounds and forms of families.

5.    Heather’s Moms Got Married By: Mary Cowhey

The issues of family diversity should be accepted and explained to student in school. If they are not accepted, it gives children the message that their own families could be unequal, inferior and not the ‘norm’ of society.

6.    Out Front By: Annie Johnston

Conversations with students about sexuality and anti-gay language make the whole class aware of these issues, and it becomes a normal and acceptable thing to talk about if problems arise. Teachers need to talk about social issues and incorporate them into the curriculum. “ “Gay has to be integrated into our picture of current events, historical reality, literary themes, and scientific exploration”” (p. 117). This helps all students learn that everyone in society is different, but we should all be treated with equity and acceptance.

7.    Curriculum is Everything That Happens By: Rita Tenorio

As teachers, we can’t always assume that our classroom is safe and separated from everything that goes on outside in the real world. Instead, we must come to understand that large social forces impact schools. It is the teachers’ obligation to make each student feel valued through learning. The curriculum entitles not just learning through lessons, but looks at other aspects like children’s interactions, emotions and attitudes.

8.    Working Effectively with ELL By: Bob Peterson and Kelley Dawson Salas

When working with ELL students, teachers must research how ELL students learn best and teach them material in an understandable, yet effective way. We must remember that ELL students are competent individuals; they do not obtain intellectual barriers, simply just communication ones.

9. Teaching Controversial Content By: Kelley Dawson Salas

There are numerous fears that teachers face when wanting to integrate questionable, social justice issues that would benefit students by incorporating them into the curriculum. Quite often, teachers question whether they are allowed to teach the way they want. We are allowed to do so, but we need to be prepared for criticism, questioning and provide reasoning for our desire to teach certain material.

10. Unwrapping the Holidays By: Dale Weiss

When conflicts arise in schools, we can over come them or deal with them by    stepping back and realizing your place and voice in the school, among students and educators. When being pulled down by the undertow, you must swim beside the wave instead of trying to battle it all at once.


{Burant, Terry. The New Teacher Book: Finding Purpose, Balance, and Hope during Your First Years in the Classroom, Second Edition.  Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools, 2010. Print.}