Hedreich Nichols

Brothers in Arms

Visit my YouTube channel for previous Small Bites episodes.

Small Bites Friday Five 07-31-20:

20-30m – Watch the next 30 minutes of Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise on PBS.

15-20m – Research the qualified immunity police laws in your city.

10-15m –Review Kahn Academy’s lesson on Richard Nixon employing the Southern Strategy in 1968 and explore the hyperlinked resources.

5-10m – Review the 5Ds of bystander intervention; Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, and Direct. You can even take a training and download an infrographic to share.

0-5m – Drop “late to the party” from your vocabulary. Shaming someone for arriving whenever they arrive is not cool. Take zero minutes and stop.

“Teaching, for me, has always been a vehicle. A vehicle for freedom…Teaching is great power” — Jamilah Pitts

If you never read Teaching as Activism, Teaching as Care, now is the time to read it. With so many of us feeling helpless in the face of tsunami sized waves of a politicized pandemic, protests and schools reopening, teaching can be the place where we can remember how powerful we really are.

Watching the footage of John Lewis on Edmund Pettus bridge in 1965 and then similar violent footage of protests this year have caused me to think about my own role in creating change. Yes, there is Small Bites. Yes, I am raising a son to be respectful and also vocal in the face of injustice. But knowing that my son could be hurt or killed for using his voice, even respectfully, causes me to want to do more.

Am I intentional in my classroom? Am I using the opportunities presented in curriculum to teach my students to connect learning to the larger issues of health, welfare and social justice? Probably not as much as I could.

Whether online or face to face, we have the ability to help our students to think about the happenings around them. We have the ability to let them know that their voices are valuable now, that they can act now. Tilly Krishna is acting now with her antiracism calendar on Instagram. Gabby and Gigi are acting now, already releasing their third book. Global Youth Media is acting now modeling ethical journalism.

We can use our classrooms to help students think critically and disagree civilly. We can let them tell us what they want to do now to make a difference and let them learn 21st century competencies along the way.

There are many ways to make a difference, to be an activist. You can write letters or even send social media posts to the appropriate elected officials. Students who can’t yet vote already have this power. Teachers can teach through the lens of social justice.

You don’t have to march to protest. Learning about different perspectives on history and sharing those with your students is a way to say that silencing voices is not ok.

You don’t have to march to protest. Telling a colleague that you acknowledge his struggle is powerful. Telling a peer that her comments don’t leave room for other perspectives is critical.

You don’t have to march to protest. But like we tell our students, if you see something say something. Use the links above to do just that and click on the last 3 posts on the right to go back and delve into the resources and strategies that Small Bites offers.

You don’t have to march to protest, but you do have to use your voice for good. It’s activism, it’s care, it’s good teaching.