All students, and especially students who have experienced trauma and oppression, need safe spaces in which to learn.
Many thanks to Tracy Burt, professor at City College of San Francisco, who developed this Safe Classroom Community graphic organizer which may be useful in viewing the Safe Classroom Community videos.
1. 2. 3.
1.Binder-Making Extravaganza, Katrina Traylor
At the beginning of the school year, Humanities teacher Katrina Traylor introduces her class to their binder, which includes 14 sections designed to ensure that students never lose anything. In some teacher’s hands, this lesson could be a rote, boring process, especially on a hot afternoon– but Ms. Traylor is so excited about the details of each binder section that it’s almost impossible for students not to stay engaged.
2.Talking Circle, Giulio Sorro
Humanities teacher Giulio Sorro establishes community in his classroom in part through regular use of a talking circle. Students move their chairs into a circle, and one person speaks at a time, holding a feather which symbolizes that they have the right to talk. In this piece, we see two uses of the circle– first, a quick check-in where students are asked to say one word describing how they are feeling, and second, a longer conversation where students are asked to share one thing they learned from the unit they just completed.
3.Exceptional Ed, Brent Albert, Kenneth Coleman, Nia Dequis, Miles Greene
In this JJSE special education class, students are engaged in independent practice. Note how the adults use their jedi awareness powers to pay close attention to everything that is happening in the room, even when they are working one-on-one with a student. When necessary, they leave the student they are working with to provide a check or word of encouragement to another student who needs assistance.