Providing equitable education and advising for students in the age of virtual learning is more important now than ever.
Trabian Shorters, best-selling author, social entrepreneur, and leading authority on diversity and inclusion, has been working for years to help foundations and nonprofits change the stories they tell about the communities they support. Many philanthropic organizations start with the challenge or the problem first – “tales of deficit and despair,” as Shorters describes. But this sort of approach stigmatizes communities, contributes to further stereotyping, and can often make change seem impossible.
On this National Day of Mourning, let’s be forthright. This has been a hard couple of weeks to try to go on with business as usual for us on staff at Texas OnCourse. We mourn with you, with the nation, and with the world over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who may never be named. George Floyd was raised in Houston. Maybe you knew him. Maybe you taught him. Maybe he was your neighbor, your relative, your student’s relative. Maybe you or your students knew Mike Ramos, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean. Maybe this experience is dredging up past memories and traumas. We recognize that this is a difficult week for you, during a difficult year. We are deeply saddened, we are angry, we worry for the future of all our black and brown children. But we also have hope.
This year, educators around the state are seeing normal PD schedules disrupted or challenged by COVID-19 restrictions. And many schools and districts are turning to remote PD for the first time.
Northwest ISD, a quickly growing district in Dallas-Fort Worth, has been using the Texas OnCourse Academy to provide virtual lessons to their college and career staff for the past couple of years. Here are some tips that they’ve utilized for implementing professional development along the way. Find more tips and tools like this in our new remote PD toolkit.
In the field of education, many of us are well-versed in the differences between explicit and implicit bias. Yet we may not have had candid conversations with ourselves and others about what we can and should do daily to ensure equity in college access; in particular, how to reduce implicit bias in today's virtual college advising setting.
This month, we shifted our usual monthly webinar to make space for colleagues to learn from one another and discuss educator resources for COVID-19. More than 600 people registered to join the conversation. If you weren’t able to join the discussion live, watch the recording:
Winter break is one of my favorite times of the year. As a high school counselor, I look forward to the long, quiet lull between mid-December and the new year when my schedule frees up and I have more control over my day. I’ve learned that it’s important to harness the gift of free time and use it to recharge and prepare myself for a strong spring semester. Students can and should do the same in order to become college and career ready. Here are three tips for educators and three tips for students on how to return to school in January refreshed and more focused than ever:
We’re loving the *slightly* cooler temperatures and slow slide into the holiday season. Before we all say farewell for Thanksgiving break, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on all we’re thankful for at Texas OnCourse:
In education, time is a commodity. Educators need time to teach, plan, and connect and engage with students. Our time impacts lives; therefore, it must be managed well. Time invested in the Texas OnCourse Academy is truly an investment worth making, because the strategies and resources presented allow educators to save LOTS of time later.
Earlier this summer, we welcomed a new cohort of leader fellows into the ranks of Texas OnCourse. This is a group of movers and shakers in college and career readiness who demonstrate a commitment to their students and professional development every single day. We’d like you to meet a few of our Texas middle school counselors and educators who are making a difference in their educational communities.