(Left to right): Rachel, Billi, Rosetta Lee, Nicole, Michele and Jessica after wrapping up a session on anti-bias curriculum last month.
At TCS, our educators know that learning is an ongoing, lifelong journey. The abundance of professional development opportunities give TCS staff and teachers the resources and training to bring innovation to the classroom and apply creative and proven best practices to curriculum.
For the past year, TCS has worked with Diversity Educator Rosetta Lee to train first grade teachers as they piloted an anti-bias curriculum, training that instills in children a love and respect for others that is stronger than hate and prejudice.
“The anti-bias curriculum pilot in the first grade has been very successful this year,” said Melissa Scott, TCS Director of Learning Design and Innovation. “Children have been able to see life through others’ life experiences. They have been very perceptive and engaged and there is a hunger for conversation and learning. Through dialogue and writing, it is apparent that there is deep understanding.”
The pilot will expand to kindergarten, second and sixth grades next year, bringing the anti-bias approach to more of our TCS children in their pivotal early-learning years when many biases and prejudices are born.
“Rosetta gave us activities and appropriate language to facilitate conversations in our classroom next year around human difference,” said Second Grade Teacher Nicole Hickman-Calix. “The more Rosetta spoke, the more it became clear to me how important this work is for the students and adults in our community.”
Anti-bias curriculum is often left for middle and high school-aged children, which is often too late, as research shows that children as young as six months are aware of differences and by age three, children are aware of their own and others’ genders and are beginning to become aware of gender roles.
The anti-bias and equity training for TCS staff and teachers will continue over the summer, as several staff members take part in a week-long, intensive training at the Diversity Leadership Institute in Alexandria, Va. Teachers and school leaders will also have the opportunity to take part in a three-day Master Class in Inclusive Leadership, led by TCS Head of School Nishant Mehta, this summer.
Through the ongoing and rigorous professional development opportunities in the anti-bias and equity space, TCS will continue to be a place where families can feel safe being their authentic selves, because they will see themselves in the faces of the faculty, staff and parents, while the curriculum will solidify the message that we embrace inclusion.