Teachers like you know the importance of building inclusive learning environments for your students. And we heard from the TpT community that, in order to ensure all students are valued and represented, you needed more resources that apply anti-racist and social justice teaching practices. That’s why we’re excited to highlight a few of the new resources in the Teach for Justice collection and some of the incredible educators who created them. These seven teachers are among the 100 educators who were awarded grants through TpT’s $100,000 Teach for Justice Grant Program, which you can learn more about here. Whatever grade, subject, or student population you teach, with the support of these educators and their resources in hand, you can be a changemaker for your students.
Meet the changemaking educators and discover their resources:
When I saw the opportunity to create resources for the Teach for Justice Grant Program, I knew that I had to be a part of it. This has been my life’s work, so it was the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge. The resources that I created cover key concepts of anti-racism, intent versus impact, and social justice, to name a few. People who purchase these resources will be able to implement them even if their knowledge of anti-racism and social justice is limited. Students will be able to digest, think critically, and implement the ideas taught in the lessons. These resources empower teachers, students, and build strong bonds with the community. With them, you will change the world!
About Falicia: Falicia currently works as a mathematics instruction specialist. She’s been an educator for 15 years and was honored as Teacher of the Year twice. She received a B.S. in elementary education with a minor in biology and chemistry from Michigan State University. She also earned a Master of Public Health in reproductive health and population studies from Emory University. For four years, she worked as a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but ultimately returned to the classroom since she believes children are the best agents for social change.
Monica from MRaeGonzales1
I did not have the opportunity to learn about Filipinx/Filipinx American or Mexican/Mexican American history as a K-12 student. It wasn’t until I went to college that I was introduced to the field of ethnic studies, where I learned more about my people’s history and [. . .] more about myself. When students learn about their history and how it is interwoven throughout society, it will help shape their self-identity, social awareness, and intellectuality, which they can use to fight for justice, equity, equality, and liberation. Engaging in critical conversations in our anti-bias/anti-racist practicing classrooms will help students not only gain a deeper understanding of concepts through authentic discourse (their peers), but these meaningful conversations will help build student voice and empowerment, intellectual agility in critical thinking skills, and help students see different perspectives, which all helps develop one’s empathy (source: Zwiers and Crawford, 2011).
About Monica: Monica is a Filipina/Mexican American public school educator in Northern California who has taught fourth and third grade. She graduated from UC Davis in 2017, where she received a B.A. in sociology and minored in education. At the UC Davis School of Education, she received her teaching credential in 2018 and M.Ed. in 2019. Her inquiry project for her master’s degree focused on culturally relevant pedagogy, specifically how culturally relevant math word problems affected student engagement.
[This] opportunity was literally the culmination of the work I’d done for my graduate project — a multicultural children’s social justice and writing curriculum utilizing diverse books as mentor texts. Not only that, but my heart was behind the project. During my first year teaching, I witnessed racial microaggressions [. . . and] I also experienced children who didn’t readily accept the difference in others or [. . .] in themselves. I was stirred to bring discussions of multiculturalism and social justice to the forefront of my own classroom setting and to normalize diversity for children [and] for the adult citizens they will become. My ultimate goal is for students to not only understand the diversity around them, but to [. . .] celebrate the beauty in that diversity.
About Amanda: Amanda teaches third grade in a small, Title 1 school in rural North Carolina. She’s a second-year teacher in the public school system, a former homeschool mom, and a writer. She’s finishing her graduate studies in English with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature, and she’s focusing on multicultural children’s literature for her final curriculum project. She has written and presented on themes of multicultural literature at North Carolina State University and the University of Belize.
Nicole from Life is Lit
I wholeheartedly believe that educators have a responsibility to create opportunities for awareness, reflection, conversation, and hopefully change around topics like injustice and anti-racism. I was eager to be a part of the Teach for Justice program because I know the power that one lesson can have on shaping the perspectives and actions of the students I teach.
About Nicole: Nicole has been in the field of education for 17 years. She has taught 6th-9th grade, and she has served as a curriculum coordinator, a director of curriculum and instruction, and a dean of instruction both nationally and internationally. She has a B.A. in theater and rhetoric studies, a master’s degree in middle grades education, and an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction.
Nikki from Route 22 Educational Resources
Representation is intentional. During a summer book club meeting [. . .], one student expressed how she wanted to be the scientist who “killed” the coronavirus. Interestingly, one of the lead scientists [. . .] seeking a vaccine – Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett – is an African American virologist. The expression and excitement the student exhibited when I shared a picture of Dr. Corbett was priceless; exposure is key, but it is not enough. Teachers need the opportunity to reflect on why African Americans and other marginalized groups are not represented in their STEM resources. Teachers also need pathways forward to identify resources that include representations of diverse STEM professionals to benefit students. For these reasons, I was motivated to create STEM 4 Justice.
About Nikki: Nikki is entering her 13th year working in public schools. She has taught English and math for eight years, has served as an instructional consultant, and currently works with an advanced academics program. She believes education is an equalizer, and she has been fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who understand the importance of a good education. Her mission is to provide access and opportunities for students so they can reach their goals.
Nicole from Brilliant Dust
As my dad told me, an education is powerful because it changes you, allows you to change the world, and it is something that no one can ever take away. In my classrooms, I strive to connect content with real world meaning for students, like climate change and access to clean water and air. It isn’t just about learning for the sake of learning; it is about learning for the sake of doing. It is an honor to be a part of this grant program, creating science resources that empower students and allow them to take a look at the world through the lens of environmental justice.
About Nicole: Nicole originally was on a path to becoming a research scientist but fell in love with teaching science. Over 10 years, she has taught multiple courses at the secondary and college level, including biology, chemistry, and environmental science. Currently, she’s homeschooling her own little scientists. She has an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard and an M.S. and M.Ed from Stanford. She loves sharing her passion for science with students, helping them to discover how amazing the world is, and how science can help us change it for the better.
Matt from History with Mr V
I recently completed my master’s degree in U.S. history with a research focus on African American history. While completing my graduate degree, I was greatly troubled by the wide gap between the leading research of professional historians and the “history” found printed in our high school textbooks. My goal as an educator is to stop the cycle of racist mythology in the history curriculum. I use my research, along with research of leaders in the field, to create anti-racist lesson plans.
About Matt: Matt has taught world and U.S. history for 14 years. He has always had a passion for stories and for history. His greatest wish is to have a time machine, but since that isn’t possible (yet), he thinks books, travel, and history class are the next best things. Currently, he is back home in Michigan, but he has also taught in Kuwait City and Seoul.