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Defining Your Purpose as a Teacher

by Zoe Weil At the beginning of the teachers’ workshops I lead, I often facilitate an activity that invites participants to reflect upon their true mission as educators. Their personal missions always differ from the US Department of Education’s, which is “to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and…

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Person throwing a box of food into a compost dumpster

17 Resources for Teaching About Food Waste

by Marsha Rakestraw “Every day, we’re teaching kids that food is trash.” ~ Jonathan Bloom Our school food systems in the US are not set up to minimize waste or encourage healthy habits. Students are often rushed at lunchtime, may have unappetizing food options, may be given (or take) much more food than they’ll eat,…

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people sitting in a circle outside playing a travel card game

I Am a Humane Educator: Vincie Ho: Promoting Compassion Education and Sustainable Travel

by Institute for Humane Education Vincie Ho is the co-founder of Mini Acts for the Greater Good (MAGG) and the creator of the sustainable travel card game Paths Crossing. She is also an advisor to the Humane Education Coalition and the co-lead for Impact Travel Alliance Hong Kong Chapter. She is “passionate about all issues related…

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9 Strategies for Cultivating Empathy and Compassion in Your Classroom

by Marsha Rakestraw To create a just, compassionate, sustainable world for all – and to help our students become solutionaries — it’s vital that we help them (and ourselves) build empathy and compassion for people, animals, and the earth. We humans are wired to care about those with whom we have close relationships (our family,…

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16 Children's Books about refugees

16 Children’s Picture Books About Refugees

by Marsha Rakestraw As war, climate change, persecution, and hunger challenges escalate, the number of refugees worldwide, and the challenges facing them and their host countries, continue to grow. And while we adults struggle with what to do and how (or whether) to help, many children may also be seeking understanding and wanting some answers….

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An artistic #MeToo sign on a wall

8 Resources for Teaching About #MeToo and Sexual Harassment

by Marsha Rakestraw Updated: 3/2/2021 The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements expanded the conversation about how common sexual harassment and assault of women is and the roles of power and patriarchy in perpetuating the objectification and oppression of women and girls. In early 2018, an offshoot campaign, the #MeTooK12 arose to help spotlight the prevalence of sexual…

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A young woman in large black glasses looking off to the left, with a black background behind her.

Can You Spot the Biases in Your Classroom?

by IHE Peruse a piece of information, and it may seem objective. Look again with a more critical eye, and you can begin to see the hidden messages, the framing, and the context (or lack thereof) attached to that piece of information. Much of the information we impart to our students, whether through textbooks or…

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woman looking into rows and columns of screens, each of which has a different person on it

11 Activities to Help Students Understand Different Perspectives

by Marsha Rakestraw In mid-January, two boys, ages 12 and 13, killed more than 500,000 bees and destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of property. Allegedly just for kicks. In December 2017, a young Muslim woman was attacked on a transit train in Vancouver, Canada. Most people watched; only one young man intervened. Incidences of…

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A young person's hands cupping dirt with a green plant growing out of it

6 Resources for Finding Meaningful Solutions to Global Challenges

by Marsha Rakestraw It’s true that the world is facing numerous grave challenges. And we’re exposed to many of them during our 24/7 omnipresent news cycles. Occasionally we’ll also find some positive stories about people doing good. But usually these stories are focused on small acts of kindness or Band-Aid solutions. And while every compassionate…

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teens sitting on a curb using mobile devices

6 Videos for Teaching Students About Tech Bias and Influence

by Marsha Rakestraw Technology is not neutral. And while we’re increasingly learning about the pervasive influence of fake news and misinformation, we rarely consider that the algorithms and filters our tech uses contain bias. Those algorithms limit and shape what we see, how we spend our time, and what we think about. Those algorithms can…

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