Just Conversations
Real talk about race, equity and social justice in the secondary school classroom
Two white high school English teachers meet to reflect on their journey to be antiracist educators. Melanie White and Amanda Potts talk about the decisions they make in the classroom and critically evaluate their teaching. These powerful conversations include book choices, canon, systemic racism, prejudice, poverty, social class, teacher efficacy, and more. In their pursuit of equity in the classroom, Melanie and Amanda open themselves to one another, and to you, the listener, since teaching is a shared experience.
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Amanda took a walk and encountered an activist in her neighbourhood. While listening to a podcast with Austin Channing Brown, she had an epiphany about antiracist teaching and learning. Melanie shares some of her observations about the institutional…

Melanie and Amanda explain their long silence, the trouble with speaking out, and their learning journey as they work within and without in pursuit of equity. They discuss some of the systemic inequities and question their roles as educators while…

Seeking to further understand how students of colour experience school, Amanda and Melanie interview a Black student who attends the predominantly White school where Melanie teaches. Dina Efrem, a Canadian student with family roots in Eritrea, was in…

Melanie and Amanda have a phone conversation with Adrienne Coddett, a high school teacher and respected local leader. She is also well known in Ottawa as co-host of Black on Black, a public affairs radio show which broadcasts every Saturday morning on…

Dealing with silence, exhaustion, tears, and trust – Amanda shares her experience of gender bias in an online course and she draws parallels with the students in our classes who experience racism. Melanie shares how struggles, vulnerability, and a…

Taking the Racial Literacy Self Assessment – Melanie and Amanda take a self assessment posted on Twitter and struggle with their response and understanding of racial literacy.

In today’s episode Amanda and Melanie ask the question: How do we handle challenging conversations with students who come from a position of privilege? We talk about a classroom lesson on cultural appropriation and Halloween costumes; some of the…