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RIDE supports several blogs throughout our website where Rhode Islanders and RIDE staff share their thoughts.

On this page, we have collected all of the blogs on our site - many of which share posts from Rhode Island educators other than RIDE staff. Blogs are listed in alphabetical order:

  • Commissioner's Corner: Commissioner Wagner's blog posts and messages to the Rhode Island community.
  • District Teacher of the Year (DTOY): Posts from the Rhode Island District Teachers of the Year, past and present, who share about instructional successes and challenges they encounter in Rhode Island classrooms.
  • Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: Rhode Island educators and RIDE staff explore factors and perspectives on the importance of ensuring that all students are taught by high quality educators.
  • Leadership: Reflections and insights from RIDE’s Leadership Fellow and other district and school leaders on the challenges and opportunities of being a school leader.
  • Rhode Island Poet Laureate: Reflections and poetry focused on teaching, learning, and the experience of education from Tina Cane, Rhode Island Poet Laureate.
  • Rhode Island Science Education (R.I.S.E.): A communication blog to update stakeholders in education and in the community on important developments, events and accomplishments in science education in Rhode Island.
  • Student Voice: Because student voice is an essential component of our discussion on education, RIDE will post essays written by students from around Rhode Island.

Click on a category below to filter by a particular blog:

New Challenges, New Opportunities, New School Year

Posted by: Kamlyn Keith on 9/5/2017

As an educator, I view the news from a classroom perspective. When a headline breaks, I think about the relevance it has for our teachers and students. When a historic event takes place, I wonder about the best way to teach the subject. I think many educators feel the same way. We see something happening in the world, and we immediately relate it back to our schools and our students.

Those habits become increasingly challenging when our world is embroiled in conflict and confusion. When tragedy strikes, or unfairness prevails, or people commit unspeakable acts, we ask the inevitable question: how am I going to explain this to my kids?

It can be an overwhelming challenge. How do we explain a situation like Charlottesville, when we can’t fully understand it ourselves?

Sadly, the hate and bigotry on display in Charlottesville won’t be the only example. But in times like these, perhaps more than ever, teaching matters. Our students are watching, and we, along with their families at home, have an opportunity to connect with, teach, and inspire the children entrusted to our care. We have an opportunity to replace hate and fear, wherever it occurs, with love and acceptance. We can influence their lives in profound ways that set them down a better path – a path that diverges from the prejudice we see too often.

How we do this may vary, depending on the context and cultures of our classrooms, but it's critical that we set an example for how to engage in healthy discourse. We must show our students that it is possible to debate gracefully, and disagree respectfully. We have to create safe spaces where students feel comfortable taking risks, asking questions, and having real, difficult, and impactful conversations. It's OK to show our students that we don't have all the answers. In fact, that's an important truth to share, as young people develop their own ideas and opinions, and feel more empowered to contribute those opinions to civil discourse.

In the wake of Charlottesville, we shared resources to help navigate these difficult conversations in the classroom. Throughout the year, we will continue to share these kinds of resources in the Field Memo, on our website, and on social media, and I encourage you to sign up for our Friends of Education email list if you haven’t already. Regardless of the day’s headline, though, whether it’s Charlottesville or another teaching moment, we will continue to elevate student voices. We can help teach kids to become compassionate and creative thinkers who understand and question current practices, who make the world a better place.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” As we begin a new school year, let’s keep those words in mind. Let’s teach students to be engaged individuals, not bystanders. Let’s teach them to harness and amplify their voices for good. Let’s teach them to make a difference in the things that matter.

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