Many teachers took to Twitter last night to express their dismay and disbelief after St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced a grand jury decision not to bring charges in the August death of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. One common refrain: What do I tell my students?
TeacherPop is here to help: We’ve compiled a few resources below to help educators thoughtfully engage with and comfort their students in the aftermath of Brown’s tragic death and consider its larger impact on communities beyond the city limits of St. Louis. A great first step? Listen to your students. Read what else the experts are suggesting below.
1) Facing History and Ourselves’ Steven Becton, whose first concern is “the emotional well-being of my students,” outlines some key goals for teachers seeking civil dialogue, rather than debate, in the classroom. He also provides great insight into how (and whether) to incorporate historical context into the discussion.
2) Edutopia takes a community-wide approach in its discussion. Dr. Travis Bristol recommends enlisting the help of teachers, students, administrators, and parents to create a school-wide initiative to address issues around race and violence.
3) Earlier today, The New York Times’ Learning Network updated its list of resources originally published in August 2014. It includes helpful categories like what happened the night of Brown’s death, the role of race, and the role of protest.
4) Georgetown University’s Dr. Marcia Chatelain, who started the hashtag #FergusonSyllabus, recommends this collaborative document. It includes essential material for understanding and teaching the events in Ferguson as well as a section where teachers can reflect on their experiences using these resources in the classroom.
5) Teaching for Change revisits its comprehensive collection of ideas for a deep discussion about race, police brutality, and student fear and resilience, first published in August.
To read more about how educators are “teaching Ferguson” and providing support to their students, follow #FergusonSyllabus and @TeachForAmerica on Twitter. And tell us in the comments: how you are talking to your students about Ferguson?