As an educator, there’s always more to learn and teach about diversity, equity, and inclusion, which makes having the right resources and support in this work all the more important. So in this post, we share 10 resources that can help you build more inclusive, representative, and equitable learning environments for your students. All of these resources were created by educators who participated in TpT’s Teach for Justice program. Check the resources out below, learn more about the educators who created them, and be sure to browse the full Teach for Justice collection on TpT.
10 resources to help foster more inclusion, representation, and equity in the classroom
Tiffany from Simple Organization
I was motivated to create Teach for Justice resources because I am an abolitionist educator. It is important to me that any curriculum is reimagined and rewritten to include examples, stories, and joy of BIPOC people. My hope is that teachers will seek to understand the everyday experiences of BIPOC people living, enduring, and resisting White supremacy. I also want to encourage all teachers to create a space where BIPOC people truly matter and where their hearts and minds are nurtured, comforted, and protected.
About Tiffany: Tiffany is the Founder and Head of School of The Ferguson School, a progressive, Christian independent school for students of the global majority, offering culturally-responsive education designed to foster creativity, collaboration, critical-thinking, and love for Christ. For the past 20 years, Tiffany has had varied teaching and leadership experiences in both private and public schools. She has taught PreK-8th grade, gifted learners, bilingual learners, and students from urban, rural, and suburban communities. Tiffany is also the owner of Simple Organization where she specializes in supporting students’ executive function skills by helping them to develop a more organized approach to home and school.
K – 5th grade
Dawn from SF Seashells
I believe representation matters and wanted to see more marginalized voices highlighted, but felt “too busy” to put my thoughts to work. The pandemic and subsequent quarantine forced me to slow down and think about how I wanted to use my voice. [. . .] My plan is to continue creating activities that highlight People of Color and our stories.
About Dawn: Dawn has been in the education field for over 20 years. She initially taught grades K-8, but later returned to school to receive her M.S. in Communication Disorders. She is now a licensed, practicing speech language pathologist and divides her time between private clients and a K-8 school. She currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
7th – 9th grade
Barbara from The Phoenix Rises
As an anti-racist educator, it is imperative that my lessons and units do two things: help students master foundational literacy skills, and empower critical thinking through culturally responsive pedagogy. The Teach for Justice grant program fit perfectly with my educational philosophy and offered me the opportunity to share resources with colleagues beyond my current campus.
About Barbara: Barbara has always believed that education is the key to change. She has used picture books to help young students learn about equity and justice, and she used project-based learning to help students recognize injustices in the school community and collaborate to create solutions. When teaching middle school, she enhanced her work with decolonization and student empowerment. She was trained in workshop instruction and started using the method in cross-curricular lesson plans and units, piloted in English, history, science, and math classes. She continues to focus her work on anti-racist curriculum and student-centered collaboration.
6th – 8th grade
Cortez from CERA Educational Products
To create a just society, everyone must get involved, through activism and advocacy. The Teach for Justice grant program allowed me to use writing, as a form of activism, to develop a curriculum that tells the stories of specific groups who have experienced separation and segregation due to structural racism. Each story is designed to teach students how to become activists by sharing unheard stories and using various tools to build a just society.
About Cortez: Cortez has taught for over 13 years in Chicago Public Schools, specializing in middle school English language arts, writing, and social studies. Cortez uses an integrative approach to develop units of study that integrate ELA and social studies for his students. He became an educator to equip children of color with the tools to write effectively and think critically. Cortez has received a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Teaching and Learning, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies from DePaul University. He is also endorsed in Reading and Social Studies.
6th – 9th grade
Sarah from Class with Ms Clark
I have privilege in a lot of ways, and I feel that it’s my responsibility to contribute to anti-racism efforts. It’s past time for me to disrupt the dominant perspectives and to introduce and to reinforce underrepresented, yet equally important, narratives and points of view.
About Sarah: Sarah is in her sixth year of teaching 8th grade English language arts at a rural middle school in Virginia. She holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary English, and she is also certified in Gifted Education at the secondary level. She became a teacher because she wanted to serve others and stays in teaching to help young adults become the best they can be through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. She believes that, if she can give students those tools in a responsive way, and then get out of their way to let them achieve great things, she’s done her job.
I’m gay, and while I’ve been lucky, I am still acutely aware of the bias and stigma against me and other members of the LGBTQ+ community that exist in the US and around the world. While I am gay, I am also White, and grew up in a mostly White area. It was part of my journey to unpack my experiences and grow to become an ally to the BIPOC community. I wrote these resources because I wanted to make anti-racist curricula to create classrooms that teach information that uplifts BIPOC students and supports other students in their anti-racist journeys.
About Ethan: Growing up, Ethan had no idea what he wanted to be. The possibilities seemed endless, and his interests too broad. It wasn’t until after college, after being thrown into the crazy world of international education, that he realized he loved teaching. After one year, he went back to school to Columbia University Teachers College to get an MA in English Education, and he jumped back in the classroom. Now, he’s a 5th year teacher, and has taught 10th-12th grade English, AP Literature, AP Psychology, and a host of different English electives.
9th – 12th grade
Grace from Tiny Wisdom
I wanted to create a curriculum that could be shared with other teachers to help create a safe space and a healthy conversation around the many racial injustices we see today. [. . .] I believe that programs like Teach for Justice [can] bring light to issues that People of Color face and provide an opportunity for young students to learn, reflect, and break the harmful cycle that harms People of Color.
About Grace: Grace has worked as a behavioral assistant in a middle school special education classroom in California for 5 years. She is also in school to become a speech pathologist. Her favorite part of working with middle school-aged kids is their sense of humor and being able to watch them grow into more confident young adults over several years.
6th – 11th grade
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In elementary school, I went to a school that was not very diverse. [. . .] Most of the other students really never saw anyone with an olive skin tone outside of school, so I’m not sure what they thought of me. But throughout school I was bullied because of that. I decided that I needed to write curricula that introduced students to children from different backgrounds, and who may look different from them.
About Jayme: Jayme was inspired to become an educator because of her third-grade teacher, who took the time to get to know every student and taught her she could do anything she wanted if she worked for it. Jayme started her teaching career at a community college child development center, where she taught children of all different backgrounds, including students with autism, speech delays, and social-emotional trauma. Since becoming a mom in 2019, Jayme is now a home educator.
PreK – 2nd grade
Daniel from Bruins’ French Superstore
I am from Minneapolis, and the elementary school I attended, Andersen Contemporary, as it was called, is just a few blocks from where George Floyd so needlessly died, so this event did more than just hit close to home for me. When I saw the Teach for Justice program on TpT, I knew I had to do something. In consulting with a young adult literature specialist in my district, I was highly recommended the collection of short stories Black Enough, edited by Ibi Zoboi. Upon reading them, I felt they could make a difference in the lives of young people.
About Daniel: Daniel began teaching in 1998 at UCLA as a French T.A. In 2001 he was hired to teach middle school ESL in the LAUSD, where he became aware of the urgency to reach every child of every background. In 2004 he moved to Florida and continued teaching middle school ELA. Then in 2006 he transferred to a high school where he has taught French ever since. Creating high quality materials for every subject for the classroom is his passion.
8th – 12th grade
I’m a believer in multimedia thematic units and comprehension instructional sequencing. I believe everything is text, and everything is fair game for interpretation and study.
About Nancy: Nancy is a certified high school English teacher in Florida who specializes in media studies, interpersonal communication, journalism, creative and thematic writing, and literary theory. She has authored, implemented curricula, and guided multi-day trainings dedicated to reading and writing across the content areas. Currently, she is teaching AICE General Paper. She has also published two young adult self-help books called Trash Talk and Chill: A Book for Kids (and Others) Who Are Trying to Calm Down.
9th – 12th grade
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