Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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Happpppy Thanksgiving

November 26, 2020

I know this Thanksgiving will be like no others. If you’ll be with family and/or friends that aren’t in your ‘bubble’ please be sure and practice safe distancing, wear a mask and if you’re inside try and leave some windows open. No matter what I hope the sun shines on you and that you can consider what you are grateful for, even in this challenging world-wide pandemic! I hope you take a moment and write down or make art that reflects what your gratefulness!

I’m grateful for the health care workers who are putting their lives on the line each and everyday to do the right thing.

I’m grateful for our elected officials who are making the most difficult decisions determining what to put in place to keep us all safe.

I’m so very grateful for my family and friends who continue to reach out to each other to lift spirits with a kind word and helpful hand.

Most importantly, I’m grateful for the educators who are teaching during this most difficult and challenging time. I know that you’re working around the clock doing the right thing for each learner and the best that you can for your community! Thank you for making a difference in so many students’ lives and in so many communities. 

Thanksgiving is different this year and my appreciation goes deeper than ever for all of the teachers across this globe going above and beyond and remembering that WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING IS ENOUGH AND WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER! Be sure and reach out with stories to share and asking for assistance!

My warmest wishes for a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Chelsea Beck for NPR
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Thanksgiving Takeaway

November 23, 2020

Food for thought

Susannah Remillard is a language arts teacher in Cape Cod where she has been working to “present a balanced Thanksgiving story to students.” She has been building her knowledge by participating in professional development online sessions being offered by the National Museum of the American Indian, Shelburne Farms and the Tarrant Institute at the University of Vermont. The archived webinar is available at THIS LINK.

Recently she wrote Thanksgiving Takeaway for the Atlantic Black Box Project. These are her sharing points taken directly from Susannah’s writing:

  • Scrub the word tribe. So many good things happen when you focus on the indigenous groups that live in your particular area and use their names. Adopt words like peoples and communities. Drop Squanto for Tisquantum and use Ousamequin instead of Massasoit. These may seem like small switches, but the thinking behind them, and the thinking you ask students to do because you have made these priorities, can teach them much about honor and respect.
  • Release the primary sources into the classroom. Students need the skills we teach with primary sources, the skills of discernment and comparative analysis, even though these documents can be challenging to analyze. Present them with voiceovers. How is your colonial English accent? It doesn’t really matter. When students examine sources from a time period, they feel that they are solving the puzzles of the past, so they often come to realizations in authentic and deeply felt ways. Give them the time and space to do this work.
  • Talk about the difference between inaccurate and inappropriate. Talk about how an inaccuracy can start a conversation, but inappropriateness can often shut one down. Bring in the mascot debate, even when it’s hard to talk about or you can’t find an easy counter argument for every justification. Use examples with white people. Talk about pain. These are important conversations that bring up hard historical truths that need unpacking today. You are in a position to do this.
  • Finally, just keep doing the work. It took years for our educational system to look like it does today. It’s not a bad system, but we know how to break through some of the most damaging remnants of our colonial past, as long as we keep doing the work.

What Susannah says makes good sense and reminds me of the work my colleagues and I did when we established a Holocaust unit when we realized that the number of survivors of the Holocaust were dwindling. Primary sources and resources on the topic are plentiful today. A fair and comprehensive curriculum honoring and recognizing truth is at the foundation of education that we must all be committed to and strive for in all subjects – for the learners we presently teach and the ones not born yet.

Susannah teaches language arts at Cape Cod Lighthouse Public Charter School. She holds degrees from Colby College and the University of South Carolina and is a National Geographic Certified Educator, an NEH Summer Scholar, and a lifelong Cape Codder.

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Happy Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018

Best wishes for a warm and grateful Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 24, 2016

Grateful!

I have so much to be grateful for this year! Taking time today to think about what Thanksgiving means to me, includes my work at the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). I feel so fortunate to work at MAC and to be doing the work that I do. I often say that I am exactly where I am meant to be, and today that rings more true than ever.

So, what I am grateful for? Let me share the ways…

  • I am so very grateful for the work that visual and performing arts educators do to provide an excellent arts education for all students!

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  • I am grateful for the opportunity to visit schools and teachers and students of the arts across the state of Maine on a regular basis. (If I haven’t visited your school please don’t hesitate to invite me)!
  • I am grateful for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative and the collaborative spirit and willingness of teachers to step up and take on a leadership role – sharing their learning and knowledge in the name of Maine Arts Education.
  • I am grateful that so many teachers and administrators completed the Maine Arts Education census survey so we could have data from 95% of Maine schools.
  • I am grateful to live in Maine where in spite of daily challenges, the health of Maine Arts Education is in a really good place! In many school districts the arts are at the center of education and arts teachers are leading the proficiency based education work that is underway. The census has shown us that almost all schools in the state offer at least one arts discipline for learners.
  • I am grateful that so many visual and performing arts educators are committed to always moving forward and participating in professional development to expand and build on their knowledge.
  • I am grateful that the student is at the heart of visual and performing arts education.
  • I am grateful for this blog and list-serv so I can communicate with you and learn about the outstanding work you do every day for all Maine learners and learners throughout the country.
  • I am grateful that you’ve put your trust in me!

Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving, wherever you may be today! Thank you for everything that you do to provide an excellent arts education and access to it for every learner!

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