During this course we will work to dismantle the cis, White, heteronormative narrative of what classroom community looks like. Together, in this course, we will question what community building currently looks like. Then, we will move to redefine and explore other methods to build community and create practical ways for connecting to one another in both our physical and online classrooms. We will begin with ourselves, clearing our minds with breath work, mini meditations and analyzing what strengths and weaknesses we bring to the classroom. Using strategies from bell hooks, Sonya Renee Taylor, Brene Brown and Sobonfu Some’, we will transition towards getting to know one another; learning our stories, sharing our experiences as instructors and students and find how these could parallel to our students’ experiences in our own classrooms. As we, somewhat quickly, build trust with one another, we will let this new knowledge of each other bring us closer so that we can begin to create our own versions of community and connectedness and develop practical ways to use those strategies as soon as we return to our classrooms.
The outcomes of this workshop are to not only generate strategies, but to also begin questioning what community is and why it’s important not only for our students, but for us. Through readings, engaging in a student panel, participation in online research groups, and group and digital reflections, we will create practical ways to connect to our students, have them connect to each other and help them build strong learning and communal cohorts. As we continue developing our own connectedness, we will analyze different classroom scenarios, find ways to keep and or raise the energy of our classes and discover ways to nurture our students on their respective journeys. By the end of our week together, using a PBWorks online team collaboration profile, we will build an open cohort manual to share our work with each other and other educators.
- Harper Spero, “The Importance of Community“.
- Kakenya Ntaiya, “Empower a girl, transform a community“.
- Chitra Aiyar, “How to build community when you feel isolated“.
- Edutopia, “Morning Meetings: Building Community in the Classroom“.
- The Body is Not an Apology (website)