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Dedicated to Teachers

Online PLC: P.L. Thomas Confronts Privilege


This week’s Online PLC article is written by P.L. Thomas and comes from the Heinemann Digital Library collection on Social Justice.

Educators wear many hats throughout the course of a school year. At times we may not be sure how to don one or the other due to the nature of a difficult or controversial topic. In his article, available for download below, P.L. Thomas challenges us to explore our own privileges so we can teach students about it.

“Teachers must address their own and others' privilege, not by speaking for those who don’t have the same privilege, but as witnesses to their truth. This is especially true during social unrest and when wrestling with difficult topics in the classroom.”

P.L. Thomas suggests that the best way to accomplish this is to first become students of the topic ourselves. By experiencing what this looks like, sounds like, and feels like, we are on a path to create this experience for those we teach.

As you read this article, I challenge you to use some of his suggestions such as to address accomplishments with humility yet consider how you choose to use your own privilege. This article is sure to facilitate an important and engaging conversation, so be sure to share your thoughts with colleagues and through social media!

Click here to view the PDF

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P.L. Thomas taught high school English in rural South Carolina before moving to teacher education. Follow his work @plthomasEdD.

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Wondering where to connect online? Start by signing up below for Heinemann's Online PLC 2015–16! Each week, we'll share content from the Heinemann Digital Library as food for thought and discussion. Our conversations can occur in comments here on the blog, on Twitter using #OnlinePLC or in our Facebook Group. Looking forward to a year of sharing content, conversation and #OnlinePLC camaraderie!

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Topics: Education, P.L. Thomas, PLC Series, Reading, Writing Workshop, CCSS, Digital Campus, Elementary, Middle School, Professional Development

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