Author: Mary Antón

The Importance of “Doing Something” – What Do We Do Tomorrow?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As an elementary principal, when an unspeakable event occurred, it was always my role  to offer support to families and guidance for teachers on how to cope, what to say, and to repeat that, yes, it was important to talk about events – even with our youngest students – especially if they were bringing it up. Now as a retired principal, I still have that same sense of urgency to support and to extend care.

What Is a Micro-Affirmation?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Micro-affirmations are the small, often unconscious acts of appreciation, praise, and recognition that teachers provide as feedback and encouragement in the classroom. Sometimes these acts are conscious, such as using a system to make sure that all students are being called on equitably. Other times they my be more subtle, such as using a child’s name when referring to something they have done well (“I noticed that Hector was doing a great job of supporting his group”) or giving credit to a child for an idea they espoused  (“I loved Imani’s idea of starting with X; do others have ideas about what we should do next?”)  Research has indicated that the more widely-recognized microaggressions have a cumulative and negative impact on students. On the other hand, research by Todd Pittinsky and others is now suggesting that positive micro-affirmations can have a cumulative effect leading students to feel more engaged, more positive to the instruction and, as is critical to the success of students of color in the classroom, more likely to feel seen, affirmed, and that they belong.

Continue reading “What Is a Micro-Affirmation?”

Am I Good Enough? Do you See Me? Am I on the Inside or the Outside?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This blog was originally posted on The Core Collaborative on Oct. 26, 2020 and also on the Educational Equity Resources Portal.

The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have brought national focus on the systemic violence perpetuated against Black people. The enormity of the need for change has long been called for by people of color. The degree to which the white world has seen the need is questionable. Now in this moment of national attention, those of us who are steeped in this work have hope that some changes will happen, that attention will stay focused, and we know it is a long shot.

Continue reading “Am I Good Enough? Do you See Me? Am I on the Inside or the Outside?”

Affirming Dignity in the Time of Elections

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In this fall of impossible challenges, schools are doing the best that they can to address issues that they have never had to address before. Principals and teachers are stretched to the max trying to teach in person and virtually, figure out systems to keep children and adults safe, and hold out until a vaccine. And yet there is one upcoming event that happens every four years that comes next week that many worry about–the election. Continue reading “Affirming Dignity in the Time of Elections”

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