This episode of “Parent Teacher Conference” takes us to the Upper School, where Emmi Sprayberry (chair of our arts department) facilitates a conversation with Raymond Huang, current senior; Tangela Chambers, mother to two upper school students (a senior and sophomore); and Dawn Denham, senior seminar English teacher.
High school is full of challenges…and for many students it is where they start to figure out who they are and grapple with the idea of identity and belonging. In the past 19 months, our students have had their worlds deeply changed by a pandemic that redefined what was our new normal as well as the murder of George Floyd that sparked a movement. In this podcast, we feature a meaningful conversation about what diversity, equity, and inclusion look like in a high school setting and how we can create spaces that build deeper connections and community. For the audio version and show notes, see below:
- What diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to our guests (3:00-7:00)
- Bringing people together in a positive way (7:00-13:09)
- Encouragement for listening and fighting against fear and the “what if’s” (13:15-17:00)
- How educators can help communicate to students where the safe places are that students can go to have conversations (17:30 – 21:30)
- The power of a story (21:35-23:35)
- Personal experiences in relation to DEI (23:45-31:30)
- The need for more educators of color and systems that impact who end up teaching (33:00-36:15)
- Self reflection; where it all begins(36:30-42:00)
- Being comfortable with being uncomfortable (42:00-45:00)
- Suggestions from each guest for one small change in a classroom environment that would help promote more diversity and inclusion (46:10-51:30)
It was a privilege to get to talk with these amazing individuals and listen to their stories. We went well over our original time but I believe this is only the beginning of much deeper and extended conversations. My hope is that this episode can be used to continue the conversation with each other and our students as we consider and personally reflect how we can foster an environment where students feel seen, valued, heard, and where they also can see themselves in their studies.