How I Use It
I frequently consult Teaching Tolerance as a gold standard in implementing social justice education. The content/ information is helpful in deepening my knowledge of empathic education and how to divulge it to my students. I especially love the Mix-It-Up component and utilize this program quarterly with my middle school students. At first, the students are skeptical in changing their daily seating arrangements. However, this activity minimizes cliques, social anxiety and uncertainty, and feelings of exclusion during lunch. Students promote inclusivity as they engage in ice breakers and communication starters. Often, new friendships are formed.
My only criticism of the site is that it is overwhelming. Personally, I spend a great amount of time on this site researching, learning, and digging before I am able to choose the right lesson plan. Many times, I adjust lesson plans to fit the climate of my student body. As such, implementation of these tools can be timely.
I use this site frequently and am confident that I will find what I need when I access it. As stated above, the areas that I use it the most is through Mix-It-Up and social awareness campaigns. I teach a Civic Engagements class and this site has helped me with my research and implementation. Their site has a Student- Task section. labeled Do Something. This section has so many wonderful ideas in helping students brainstorm ways that they can impact their community and make a difference. Many times, students feel disempowered in their ability to help fulfill a need. This site helps me challenge their perspective and helplessness. Lesson plans and activities from Teaching Tolerance empowers them to understand inequality, poverty, discrimination, and historical/ current injustices. Once they have acquired knowledge and participated in discussion, they are emboldened to put these skills into action. It is exciting to see them partake in advocacy, philanthropy, and awareness, and service campaigns.