Another week and more erosion in the quality of San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) Education and local reporting. Between the secretive and opaque Superintendent Selection process to overt groveling by a local news source over former SDUSD Superintendent and current Useful Idiot Cindy Marten, the path ahead for all SDUSD Stakeholders is leading far away from attending the SDUSD and relying on certain members of the local news as a source for any semblance of honest professional journalism.
Today Sunday Reads features an honest article from INDY K-12 by Ms. Shawnta S. Barnes that providing a parent and educator perspective on how Thanksgiving can and should be taught. We also have asked for SDUSD Teachers, Parents and other Stakeholders to provide additional information, if it exists, for all grades regarding the teaching of the Thanksgiving holiday and Native Americans.
We have featured the complete INDY K-12 article but we strongly urge our readers to click on the title (in red) and read the full dispatch for themselves.
It is that time of year again. It is time for some teachers somewhere to completely botch incorporating Thanksgiving and Native Americans into the curriculum. However, this does not need to occur. Teachers can take the time to research and plan to avoid being the next teacher to go viral for missteps in the classroom.
Teaching starts with the state standards. Teachers should first look at their state standards to determine which skills they want to teach and then identify the content they would like to use to teach the skills. Next, teachers should realize that Native Americans should not only be talked about in November during Native American Heritage Month or the days leading up to Thanksgiving.
Reading stories is one way teachers share information about a topic as well as a way to cover some academic skills. We all know responding to a text verbally or in written form is a literacy skill students need to master. I was asked to review some Thanksgiving books. Not only did I review those books, but I also picked up the first books I could locate on Thanksgiving at my local library and reviewed them, too. I created a spreadsheet. On one tab of the spreadsheet, I pulled out standards that could potentially be covered for literacy and social studies. These Indiana standards are based on the grade level of the teachers I was helping. On the second tab, I included a review which had these categories: the author, year of copyright, concerning content, highlights, and a final recommendation.
There were factors I used to drive my recommendations. These same factors should be used to drive lesson plan choices. First, I considered the perspective told and if it was truthful. The Pilgrims did not invent the concept of Thanksgiving. Dinners of thanks have been happening around the world and included in various Native American tribes. Any talk about Thanksgiving should include native perspectives. It is even better if the author is Native American.
Moving outside of Thanksgiving to learn about Native Americans is also important. Native Americans aren’t only in the past. They are still here so modern-day Native American life should be included. When Native Americans are learned about teachers need to understand that Native Americans are not a monolith. Teachers should teach about specific tribes and the specific information that goes with those tribes. Teachers should start with the Native Americans who lived on the land, both past and present, in the state where they teach.
It is important to note that it is not necessary for students to dress up as Native Americans to learn about them. When we know more, we can do better.
Teachers do better this year.
DISTRICT DEEDS SYNOPSIS:
This past Thursday, November 25th, we wished all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving and thanked them for their courage and their support. Since Thanksgiving we have contemplated the Thanksgiving holiday and remembered how it was taught and celebrated in the dark ages when we were in Elementary and High School.
Then we found this article from Indy K-12 by Ms. Barnes and began to wonder how many, if any, SDUSD teachers had read it also.
In the article Ms. Barnes provided a google spreadsheet with “Indiana standards” for literacy and social studies.
Again we wondered if any SDUSD Teacher had compiled a similar spreadsheet that covered all grades and all subjects “incorporating Thanksgiving and Native Americans into the curriculum” while using “California standards” to do so.
As a public service to other SDUSD Teachers and their Students, if any SDUSD Teacher or school site has created a comprehensive spreadsheet or other document “incorporating Thanksgiving and Native Americans into the curriculum” WITH California Standards please send it to District Deeds at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will post your documents either with your name or anonymously, whichever is your preference.
Our guess is that, under the current racist senior SDUSD leadership, there are only two chances that any such official, relevant and actionable SDUSD documents exists or that any teacher will take the risk of losing their job to share it:
Chance 1: Slim
Chance 2: None
We can only hope (ed. note: Yes readers, we DO still hope) that such documents exist and that the time will soon end “for some (SDUSD) teachers somewhere to completely botch incorporating Thanksgiving and Native Americans into the curriculum.”
Sending District Deeds your comprehensive spreadsheet or other documents to post can prevent the SDUSD Native American “botch” in future Thanksgivings and throughout the school year.
It will help ALL your colleagues and ALL their Students no matter what the corrupt SDUSD senior leadership tries to do to the contrary.
Now for our quote of the week dedicated to the selected SDUSD Teachers who always do their best to “do better“:
“Our first Teacher is our own heart.” Cheyenne Proverb
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