In R.E.A.L.® Time is a place for conversation about the art, science, and impact of student-led discussion. If that mission feels meta, it’s also born of what we see as a concrete need: an exchange focused explicitly on discussion and stocked with a blend of expertise, research, human interest stories, interdisciplinary connections, and fun!
Edited by Katherine Burd
“Teaching the skill of having conversations about identity is different than teaching the skill of how to apply a math formula to the real world. You can’t apply formulas to an identity. We, as educators, have to be comfortable with fumbling through conversations and not having all the answers and having to model what it’s like when you say the wrong thing or learn something.”
“There’s no way that we can guarantee that a discussion is equitable. What we can work toward is finding as many ways to get student voices into it as possible.”
“We think about “oh, the purpose of this class is to be English class,” but there needs to be a clear purpose for each specific gathering. You get to choose what that template looks like. The structures that go with it should fuel that purpose.”
“There’s a creative force within schools, but to move forward, we need a community-centered approach that draws everyone in to make change. In order for that to happen, something has to drastically disrupt the current system. Possibility and liberation has to become the imperative over maintaining systems.”
“Teaching is demanding! These folks have to be attending to children’s mental health even as they are trying to teach them educational materials. To maintain community well-being, we need to look “upstream” at who’s running the ship, and in the classroom, that is the teacher. Everything’s affected if they’re doing well, or doing poorly. So you, as a teacher, are the upstream influence. Your wellbeing matters — of course your knowledge and skills do too, but to maximize them, we have to be sure you feel good as a human being.”
“Before, during, and after writing, there are opportunities to leverage classroom community, and I actually think that writing and discussion can both improve each other. We say that writing should happen every day and be a key element of the classroom, and I think discussion is the same way.”
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