Usable Knowledge is a trusted source of insight into what works in education — translating new research into easy-to-use stories and strategies for teachers, parents, K-12 leaders, higher ed professionals, and policymakers. Usable Knowledge is produced at the Harvard Graduate School of Education by Bari Walsh (senior editor) and Leah Shafer (staff writer). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Before the Big Times Roll In”
Building trust by getting real, from the start
To create an environment where students are prepared to have tough conversations, teachers first need to build trust and community.
"I feel like sometimes we get so caught up in curriculum, we get so caught up in testing, that we forget how to teach people to be people," says Teisha Thomas, who teaches English Language Arts to middle school students at The Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
It's vital for teachers to show students how to communicate when they're upset and how to acknowledge different perspectives, Thomas explains. And when students understand that these are classroom norms, they have the tools and attitude necessary to tackle any difficult discussion.
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Our country is polarized: How is that showing up in your school? What are you doing to protect students, confront discrimination, prevent bullying, and foster inclusion? Join us on Facebook and Twitter, using #OneAllHGSE. Send your advice and resources to email@example.com, and we’ll share as much as we can. Read more at One and All.