Back to School

It’s that time again! September is upon us, summer is dwindling, the cicadas are out and educators from all over NYC and the US have begun planning for the 2009-2010 school year.  We here at Tanenbaum have a few wishes for our educators for the upcoming school year.

We hope that you support a classroom built on social justice.  Model for your students what is fair and what is just and they will carry those characteristics with them, even beyond the classroom.

We charge you to look at your materials and make sure they aren’t reinforcing stereotypes in your classroom.   We hope you prevent conflict and negative biases based on religion or heritage in your classroom.

We encourage you to think about all your students when planning your lessons.  Students learn in drastically different ways and will retain information better when you cater to their dominant learning style.  Consider multiple approaches when teaching material so that your students have a greater chance of being successful in school while remaining invested and interested.  This also provides them with the tools to be successful  beyond the classroom.

We ask that you create classrooms where curiosity is a championed trait.  There is so much to learn from the street, block, neighborhood, city, town, country or continent where you live.  The world is quickly getting smaller and in order for our students to effectively work with people from all over the world we must encourage them to hold pluralism and globalism in high esteem.

We invite you to look at your own identity; as an educator, individual and member of society.  Remember that there are many pieces that make up who you are.  There are many traits, ideas, goals and desires that make up your students.  Support them as they examine themselves and those around them in a just and inquisitive way.  Encourage them to be proud of their backgrounds and multiple identities which will lead them to be more compassionate and understanding members of society.

As always, we wish you the best of luck as you begin the school year.  We know how important and difficult your job can be. We appreciate that you’ve chosen to do this challenging but necessary work. We hope that you can incorporate the above principles in your work as you are faced with a group of new students. All the best!