Last November, eight faculty members were afforded the opportunity to attend the People of Color Conference offered by the National Association of Independent Schools. This conference reinforces NAIS' commitment to equity and justice in teaching and learning and provides a safe space for equipping educators at every level with knowledge, skills, and experiences to improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools.
Teachers learned how this work supports the academic, social-emotional, and workplace performance outcomes for students and adults alike. St. Anne’s was able to send eight people thanks to the generous support of our school community for the recently completed capital campaign. The conference was extremely meaningful for the eight who attended and its impact has been profound:
The PoCC conference had a profound impact on me on so many levels. I left the conference transformed. It challenged me to see and better understand different perspectives and helped me to gain insight of what being truly inclusive means. The work at the conference, pushed me to look inward and confront some of my own biases. While I believe my intentions have always been true, after attending the conference, I learned how the impact of what we say, how we teach, and what we do sometimes stifles kids, causing a sense of alienation. As an educator, I feel a stronger sense of responsibility to pay attention to this and create environments where all of my students feel completely known and loved.
- Melissa Meier, 1st Grade Teacher
PoCC gave me more digital resources and more people resources with whom I can connect to ask questions and, more importantly, the words and research to speak to different strategies to ensure a school culture that is welcoming to all.
-Jocelyn Sanders, 4th Grade Teacher
This has made me take a hard look at how I incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into my instruction. If has encouraged me to examine who is present in my curriculum and more importantly - who is missing and what steps I need to take to rectify the situation.
-Shannon Cameron, 5th-6th Grade Teacher
One of the ideas from PoCC we will be implementing after spring break is the “One Book,” initiative, in which the whole school reads and discusses the same picture book in their classes on the same day. Our first book will be Maddi’s Fridge, a book which raises awareness about poverty and hunger with honesty and sensitivity while instilling important life lessons.
Save the Date!
On March 27th from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. St. Anne’s will welcome Dr. Howard C. Stevenson, author of Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools, for a parent education evening on talking to children about race. Child care will be available for St. Anne’s families. Kindly RSVP to Amy Shepherd at firstname.lastname@example.org to help us plan for this event. We hope to see you there!