In our efforts to measure the #DisruptTexts impact around the country and world, we are sharing the work educators are doing in their schools and districts. We are so inspired and moved by the reports and we encourage everyone to consider the ways this work needs to permeate their environment. These efforts will always look different because they should be based on your particular context.
Today’s report comes from Chicago. Heidi Rees (@MoxRees) shared with us some really creative and important work she’s doing with students.
She thanked us and we want to respond:
“Thank you for being THE VOICES that have sharpened my beliefs, pushed my thinking, and transformed my teaching.”
Thank you, Heidi, for listening and for taking action. That is the type of risk taking and movement we want to see from our colleagues in this field. Thank you for your boldness and courage.
Then, she tells us what important changes she’s making with TKAM: “This year, with trepidation, I chose to disrupt TKAM using materials from Facing History and Ourselves and the online course “Teaching Mockingbird.” I listened to Teaching Hard History and read every critique I could find. Ultimately, I decided that I will not teach TKAM again. It is my goal to get All American Boys approved for our district and then build the same resources around it.”
Heidi shares some of the challenges of this, work, too: “Toward the end of the school year, I attempted to disrupt Lord of the Flies. This was MUCH more difficult because at every turn, I found out more and more that I didn’t know about Indigenous identity. There is still so much for me to learn. It was this text and surrounding conversation that caused students to LOUDLY challenge ideas that I set forth. In these discussions, I felt exposed and understood what antiracist (or anti-imperialist, anti-white supremacist) teaching should feel like. I changed. Many students changed. Some did not. As with TKAM, I came away with questions about who was benefiting as a result of these discussions and who was harmed. Yes, some white students changed their perspectives, but at what cost and to whom?”
Thank you for honesty and for sharing the struggles. We appreciate the big risks you’re taking and the learning you’re doing on your own and with your students. We encourage you to keep learning, to keep seeking, and to keep trying. We’re here, and look forward to walking with you in this journey.