Dear Fellow Educators,
We here at the Education Committee of Rutland Area NAACP are here to support you with a plethora of ideas and materials for teaching in good times as well as in these more fraught and difficult times. We’re currently hard at work building and creating resources for our schools and communities, as well as enhancing many of those that already exist.
Our geographic sphere of work here in Vermont covers not only the greater Rutland area, but also stretches south to include Bennington County and north to Addison County, which is why we’re contacting you. We look forward to constructing fruitful relationships as well as continuing a generative dialogue with our fellow educators about best educational practices for all of our young people here in Vermont.
Although we will soon be making available a variety of materials and ideas for robust pedagogy for the teaching of American History and other subjects during Black History Month and beyond, we wanted to contact you more immediately, given the events of the past week in our nation. We know you must feel the pressing need for young people to make sense of these events, to put them in context, and to express their ideas and views about the era we’re living through. It is truly “mission critical” for our teachersto carry forth the vital responsibility of having these conversations with students, and to implement “living curricula” which addresses these events. A number of organizations, from Facing History and Ourselves to PBS and the NEA, have already disseminated strong pedagogy and teaching ideas to support educators as they grapple with what are likely to be difficult conversations in their classrooms over the coming weeks. It is our teachers’ responsibility to have these conversations with students, and to implement “living curricula” which addresses these events.
A number of resources that we think are thoughtful and reflect strong pedagogical practice are listed on the following page, along with our committee’s document on how to have powerful and generative conversations in the classroom when tackling challenging and difficult topics. These materials have been gathered and this letter written by our education committee, chaired by Julie Conason, and our historical committee, chaired by AlanaHarte. If you have any questions or would like further support in implementation of these materials, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.