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Dedicated to Teachers

On the Podcast: Social Justice Talk with Chris Hass, Nozsa Tinsley, and Tiffany Palmatier

Social Justice Talk PodcastWe all have the intention of using our classroom to envision a better world, but it's not always as easy as it sounds. 

Today on the podcast we're joined by Chris Hass, author of Social Justice Talk: Strategies for Teaching Critical Awareness. We're also joined by his colleagues and co-contributors Nozsa Tinsley and Tiffany Palmatier. 

Learn More About Social Justice Talk

Chris, Nozsa, and Tiffany share their first hand experiences facilitating conversations in the classroom that disrupt and challenge harmful social beliefs and practices that we are all immersed in everyday. They demonstrate how we can truly move theory into action, and help students become the critical and engaged citizens that we need in this world. 


Below is a transcript of this episode.

Steph: Well, thank you all for joining me here today. I was hoping we could just start off by telling me a little bit about yourselves and how you all came to work together?

Chris: Okay, I'll go ahead and start off. My name is Chris Hass. I'm in my 18th year of teaching K through five classrooms, my 14th of which is here in South Carolina, which I think makes for an interesting, yet much needed setting for social justice teaching, which is much the same across the country. I have my PhD in language literacy from the University of South Carolina with a research focus on social justice teaching in the elementary classroom. And I came to know Nozsa and Tiffany because they were both interns here at my school. Nozsa was a student teacher in my actual classroom. But once they finished up here, they went to another school where they taught together. And then we wound up spending a couple of years together as part of a culturally relevant teaching group who were exploring different ideas on things that we wanted to do together in our classroom and then found a way to all come together and teach in the same building, which is wonderful.

Nozsa: I'm Nozsa Tinsley, I am in my 7th year of teaching. And as Chris said, I was an intern in his classroom. And so I went out to teach at one school and coming back to CFI, I think being able to bring some of those things here has really changed, I feel like who I am as a teacher and who I am as a person. But I do think that he made a good point when he said that we spent a few years, I think it was maybe two years doing that social justice teaching, because I think that when you're passionate about these things, you find your people or you find your who. We've been able to stick together over the years.

Tiffany: That's beautifully put. My name is Tiffany Palmatier, I'm in my 8th year of teaching. And I feel in many ways I live, the social justice curriculum is a part of who I am. I feel it's really ingrained in me. It's a personal connection, and I think it's the same for these two as well. When you're so very passionate about something and you've had so many lived experiences that really make you drawn to this work, like Nozsa said, you will find individuals who are like-minded and who helped you think up and grow your understanding and challenge you in ways that help you continue to be the best, not only educator, but best person that you can.

Steph: So this conversation about teaching social justice, injustice, oppression, equity, it's not a new conversation. But I would love to hear from all of you, and you already mentioned that it is coming from a personal place. But I would love to know why these kinds of conversations are so important to have in the classroom, and why they need to be integrated into the curriculum, and not just some one-off conversation here or there.

Nozsa: I think one of the most important things that you said is that it's not new, right? These are things, at least for me, I feel like history continues to repeat itself over and over and over. And part of that is because no one's talking about things and the people who are talking about things aren't doing things. I think at least for me, it's important to make space within my classroom for my kids to be able to have these conversations, because they're already thinking. They're already learning. They're already hearing about all the things that are happening, and experiencing the things that are happening around them in life, but to provide a space for them, a safe space where they can think through those things and be inspired and pushed to be activists, it makes for a better tomorrow for me, but for the future as well. I think that's why it's so important to make space for those things in curriculum.

Tiffany: I think for me as a teacher of young children, when I think about social justice or social action, what's the common place that we all experience? It's school. So that's the place that no matter usually what walk of life you're taking, that's the place that we all end up. And what that means is it's the place where I feel like the most opportunity is, and the most hope lies. Because if you're going to see individuals or try to learn about individuals or build an awareness about how others think and so forth, you're going to gain that in a classroom, usually with 20 plus other individuals who haven't lived the same exact life that you have, which makes for the, in my opinion, best ground to have conversations.

And I'm a person who believes in thinking from a hope stance, and there's just something about having conversations and being able to talk with children about what's happening in the world, their experiences, what they feel. To me, there's just hope in that, that I don't find in any other arena. And I think we probably all agree. We get so much from the kids. And I think too, it's just a really cool opportunity that we have, because it is the one place that they usually all find themselves. And that is a special thing. And we get that cool opportunity.

Chris: Exactly. And I think a key part of that is the fact that when our kids aren't at school, they're largely surrounded by homogenous bubbles where people look much like they are and they believe much like they do. And where we come to the classroom and we're now surrounded by a diversity of kids, with a diversity of experiences and perspectives and things to share, it's such a rich opportunity. And I think the other aspect of this question is the fact that our schools are not a vacuum. It's part of the communities that our kids are already living in. Our kids come to us. They've seen these things, they've heard them. And many of them have lived it, day in, day out. And for any of us to ignore this or to avoid doing the work required to address these injustices, these inequities, that would be an unethical response, no matter how we try to rationalize it.

I think this work is critical. I think as much as we strap far too heavy a load on our public schools and our teachers, for sure, the fact remains that education really does have to play a key role in transforming our society. We need to make sure that we're doing all we can to create a future citizenry who's more compassionate and more understanding, and more capable of thinking critically, who can understand that their own experiences, their own needs, their own desires aren't necessarily the same as those around them, and that when we can better understand other people, we're in a better place to address some of the issues that are facing us.

Tiffany: And I would argue too, probably, that I think to say that social justice work or that those opportunities are in the classroom, I would say that that just probably means that an educator isn't listening and watching closely. I'm teaching a brand new group of kindergarteners, and I'm in week four or five and children are already having conversations. They're already talking about what they're seeing. And I think that that's really natural to them. And it's only when they feel like there's no space for that, that then it's, Oh, my kids aren't wanting to talk. Well, are you really listening? Because they're definitely talking. Now they may not be talking in the same way that a middle schooler or a high schooler maybe speaking, but they're definitely talking and they're sharing the way that they feel. And we just have to give them opportunities to speak.

Nozsa: Because like you said, they're already coming with questions. And I can't think of one educator that hasn't had a classroom setting where their kids have come to school with questions or concerns. And I think that how we go about either making space for that or sheltering back of no, we're not going to talk about that, the kids learn a behavior of, no, this is a safe place to talk, or this is something that's okay to talk about, or we're going to shy away from it, and then that it's not an okay place to talk about it.

Chris: One thing I think that's important too for teachers to understand, that there is a very real possibility that when you open up the floor for questions, your kids may not ask a lot of questions. Because in all honesty, every experience they've had in school up to that point has taught them that those aren't the sorts of questions that you ask at school. So even the ones who might be most apt to put themselves out there and do that are probably going to sit back and try to make sense of who this teacher is, first of all, and why they want to do this work, or why they want to have this conversation, but also to have some semblance of what sorts of questions are okay to ask. And sometimes it's helping our kids unlearn everything they've learned before they came to us to help them into that work.

Steph: Yeah, absolutely. And I love that you touched on this idea that there are certain things that we shouldn't talk about in school or not appropriate for school but as you mentioned these things are happening in the school and outside of the school and in our lives and our students' lives. As we record this, end of September, teachers are in the classroom, doing remote, maybe doing both. And I would have to imagine that some people listening to this might be thinking, "I'm just trying to figure out how to teach through a computer. Why do I have to worry about talking about social justice right now? Can't we address that later?" And why is this work necessary perhaps even more than ever right now?

Chris: So we were talking about this over lunch earlier today. Why is it when things get tough, when we're faced with obstacles, why are the first things that we let go of opportunities to help others but instead to take care of ourselves? So when I think about that, I think of this book a couple of years ago that our school chose to engage in as a school-wide read aloud and it was called Come With Me. And it was written as a response to the hatred and the fear and the violence that was directed toward the Muslim community post 9-11. And on the very first page, I don't know if you remember this book, Nozsa and Tiffany, but there's this little girl sitting in front of a TV screen and the words say, "All over the world the news told and told and retold of anger and hatred and people against people and the little girl was frightened by all that she saw and everything she heard."

And that page has really haunted me all summer long because I keep thinking about our kids at home seeing all these images on the TV and hearing all these stories that are being told and seeing people talked about in a very particular way but they're also isolated from the rest of the world because with the pandemic they're stuck in their homes a large part of the time, and they really don't have any opportunity to process many of the things that they're seeing and many of the things that they're hearing. I would argue there's no more important time possibly to be having these discussions than exactly right now.

And I can speak from a selfish sense as well, I missed having those conversations because when I was sitting at home this summer I started feeling extremely depressed. Because all the coverage I saw on the news was so incredibly negative and so incredibly hateful and anger ridden. And then I would lay there and watch that and then try to go to sleep and not be able to fall asleep. But I had nowhere to go to process all this information because I wasn't in the company of other people outside the people within my home. And I missed being here at school and I missed being with my seven and eight and nine year olds so we can talk about these things. Because I think as important as it is to our kids it's important to us in many ways as well.

Tiffany: I think too Chris you know it's interesting we would never assume that an 18 year old would leave high school and would not have had mathematics all the way throughout. We would never assume that they would leave and not have engaged in literacy experiences. It's interesting to me, how is it then that we send children who go out into the world and we say, "We want you to be a caring and compassionate individual. We want you to be someone who cares about what's happening to the person not only next door to you but also across the world. We want you to be empathetic. We want you to be sympathetic." How is it then that we expect that that automatically happens?

It is the same exact thing when it comes to social justice work, when it comes to helping children develop just this compassionate and these empathetic feelings for others, it too has to happen as children continue and go through their educational journeys. That is how we help them to be the citizens that I feel like we always hope and want them to be and it's well that doesn't automatically happen either. We have to invest in that as well. And I think what Chris is saying, I feel like our children give us just as much as we give them but that too takes the exact same amount of investment. Because I always think in terms of the reading, writing, and math, we would never ask these things without giving them the environment for those conditions and it's no different when it comes to the work that we all believe so passionately about.

Chris: I think another aspect of this is you keep hearing people ask looking at 2020 and everything that's happening with social unrest around the country, "Will this time be any different than all the times before it?" And personally, I can't help but believe this time will only be different if each and every one of us decides for ourselves that we're going to make it so. If we continue to wait for other people to change or to take action and don't do it for ourselves then the answer is probably no. So yeah, we're coming back in the midst of a pandemic and many of us are virtual right now including the three of us and it does make some of this work more challenging, it makes it a lot more challenging. But that's not an excuse to let it go because it is extremely important.

Steph: You have a new book out called Social Justice Talk Strategies for Teaching Critical Awareness and it just touches on so much that I absolutely love. But what really stands out to me is that you offer these concrete strategies to teachers and it feels just so accessible especially for maybe a teacher who is just stepping into this work, maybe feels not so confident being able to lead these discussions. Can you talk a little bit about how you develop these strategies and how a teacher might go about using the right strategy for their group of students?

Chris: So I feel like the main strategy I put into action in my classroom and I'm pretty sure Nozsa and Tiffany would agree is that we work really hard to stop talking so much and listen more to our kids. Which for us begins very much by carving out time throughout the day so our kids can share their questions, they can share their thoughts, they can share their concerns without fear that we're going to cut them off so we can just rush on to the next thing on the agenda. So I remember sitting once in a team meeting at a former school where a first year teacher shared the question her kids kept peppering her with that grew out of the curriculum that maybe it wasn't specifically within the confines of that curriculum. And she was looking for guidance from these veteran teachers to tell her how to be responsive to her students.

And a veteran teacher on our team very much scolded her for any attempts to follow the kids lead reminding her that those sorts of questions are not in the curriculum and they're certainly not going to be tested at the end of the year. And that's sad but I think a lot of people listening to this can relate to that and they've heard those same experiences happen time and again. We've just lost our way. We've lost sight of what it is we ultimately want and what it is we should be accomplishing in our classrooms.

So, the strategies that I've developed in my classroom they've largely grown out of a desire to take what I've learned from Critical Race Theory and see how these principles could guide my actions in the classroom and my practices to my students. And I think most of the successes I've ever had in any aspect of my teaching has come from my own willingness to fail, to make mistakes, to reflect and to revise. So it grows out of the work that my kids and I do together collaboratively to figure things out and see what works in our classroom and what doesn't.

But I think another really important part of that is always teaching in community with others. And for me to be here with Nozsa and Tiffany is such a great gift because it gives us people we can go to who are extremely honest who will listen to something and reflect on it and pose a question or pose a critique so that we can always make sure that we're trying to outgrow ourselves and to move forward in our practices. And as for how teachers might go about choosing the best strategies for their groups of children, I think it speaks again to the role of listening in their classroom.

Every teacher no matter what you teach, you have the ability to carefully select the texts that you use in your classroom. You have the ability to carefully select the data sets that you use in your classroom for their potential to elicit really important questions. It's what we do with these questions that makes all the difference. And really that was the one goal I had in writing this book was to help teachers feel more prepared to develop rich discussions in their classroom that ultimately when everything goes right can lead to action on the part of themselves but also action on the part of their students as well.

Tiffany: If I were to add anything I obviously adore Chris. I think the book is fantastic. I don't know, I get life from it. I just imagine for this work that can sometimes be very intimidating just being able to see someone else's experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly as Chris is always so willing to show because I think there's something comforting about that for a teacher beginning this work to know that it doesn't have to be perfect, and there is no point A, point B and C. I think you can look in the book and you can see something that you can connect with. I don't think there is a formula.

There's no prescription for this work because so much of it depends on being responsive to the kids in your classroom. I will say that, and Chris, the book does such a wonderful job of showing the value of community. I truly believe everything grows out of building a really strong community, which when Chris outlines what teaching tolerance says with the identity and that diversity. Just starting with the community and identity to me is what allows everything else to blossom. From there, I think you get a sense of a teacher.

We can go on this journey together. No matter what we encounter, we're in this together and we're going to respect each other. No matter if our opinions differ, we're going to still respect each other and try to learn with and from each other. And that, in my opinion, is really at the center of it all. And again, like I said, there is no magic pill.

There is no prescription. But while there are lots of things to think about in the book that really, for me, I think as an educator, you think, "Wow, that's something to think about," and there's something to connect with. I think any educator could connect with the book on one level or another, right? We all have different identities, multiple identities. But I think there's something that every teacher who's even interested in this work could gain from reading this text.

Nozsa: And I think too, because of the videos and because of the live learned experiences, I'm only speaking from my own personal perspective here. But being at a school sometimes, we got lucky, right? It's rare that you meet people who are as passionate about the same things as you are, because it's easy to put it by the wayside.

It's easy to keep going and taking care of myself rather than thinking about my community. But it's very rare for teachers to be in a space where they have people who are going to support them in those endeavors, and so I think the book does a really good job of showing those teachers who might not have the support that they need the possibilities, and it gives them a place to start.

Even if I'm teaching on a team of teachers who have no inspiration or any type of will to want to take on this act of teaching for social justice, it still allows the teacher to have a starting point. It allows them to have a view of what's possible.

Tiffany: And to be able to start small. I think whether you're teaching first year or you're teaching in year 20, I think that the book allows that you can take a piece. You can look at it and go, "Wow, so much is happening. He's doing so much work. They're doing so much work in their classrooms."

But I think the way that it's set up, and because I feel like it's so intimate and inviting, that it even has in my opinion the potential to even just give someone just a little ... Just to kind of get that little nudge you feel in your stomach or that discomfort that, "I want to do something a little different. I don't really know where to start."

It can give you just the push you need to keep going like Nozsa said. Because most times, especially with this work, you probably won't have a building full of people maybe all in the same boat with you. But, it's really nice. We all know the power of author mentors and being able to live alongside other teachers doing the work. That is something that I think will be really beneficial, and I think other teachers will be invested in as well, just as we are.

Steph: Tiffany, I was so glad that you mentioned identity because that seems to be a really prominent theme, both identity and positionality in the book. Why is that so important to examine in this work with ourselves and also encourage it with our students?

Tiffany: Yeah. That's such a loaded question, but one that I think we're constantly always having to check ourselves on. Because regardless, our identities are complex and they're ever changing, and there's biases that we hold and lived experiences that have shaped who we are as individuals.

I think first and foremost, having an understanding that those things are a part of who we are is obviously number one. I always say, I can never ask kindergartners to walk into my classroom and begin to want to know about everyone and all over without having this sense of joy and knowing that we're invested in who they are as well. I always say you got to have a sense of love for yourself, and it's through that, that you're then able to open yourself up and be open to understanding others that may be like and unlike you.
But I think my position in the classroom within and all that I bring in terms of my identity, I think it's just constantly being reflected. I try really hard to do more listening than talking in the classroom because I do feel like when the children's voices are louder, it's not so much about me as much as them having authentic conversations with one another. But I think that's a constant.

I think we as teachers are always checking ourselves into making sure that who we are obviously is a part of our classroom, but that really it's the children's voices that are the loudest, and that they feel loved and respected. I always say I'll never open up the floor in my classroom to have what I would consider a critical conversation without making sure I've built a strong community with the kids, because I think that they go hand in hand.

Chris: This is a really important one to me as well. I mean, it's important to everyone, and it's by no accident that the very first chapter of the book takes on the role of identity and really knowing who you are. Before you step into the waters of this work, because who you are really matters, me being a white male who's pretty much part of every dominant cultural group across the board of all the ones that have the largest impact on various aspects of life, for me to facilitate discussions in a classroom with a diverse group of kids, diverse in many, many different ways.

That means something, because we're all informed so heavily by the decisions that we make in our classroom by who we are and our perspectives and how we see the world. There's times when we very much intend to do the very best for our kids and the very best for our communities, but it's our own blind spots from not even recognizing something is there that allows us to make missteps along the way.

I know there's many white teachers who walk blindly at times in discussions of race without realizing the dangers their social identities are going to pose to the outcome of those discussions. The same is true of any social group that you're thinking of. It doesn't mean that you can't lead a discussion around issues in which your position as part of the dominant culture, but it does mean you better be awfully careful of this fact. You better be mindful of this fact.

So much of how we perceive the world in our classroom is through the lenses of our own lived experiences, and that's why it comes back to a lot of times in these discussions, you have to learn to not have the final word. You have to learn not to boil everything down to one teachable point at the very end, and that eventually what you want your kids to do is stop looking at you when they're talking and start looking at their peers when they're talking, because this is a discussion among them. You're really just there working from the side. You should not be working from the front no matter who you are.

Tiffany: I would say too, to add on to that, Chris, I think we all believe that every conversation that happens in our classrooms should be carried into their homes as well. It's not about what is it that just happened in here and we've come to an answer or we've come to a decision. There is no right or wrong.

It's only a discussion that we always say, "Please continue this conversation at home with your parents," because that is the goal is for them to have those conversations. It's not to reach a finality. There's no final say. There is no, "This is right and this is wrong." I wanted to go back to and say, Chris, when we were talking about positionality ... For a while, especially with this work, and Chris and Nozsa both are really great at helping me with this. But for a while, I had a really difficult time of separating my lived experiences and then having conversations with my kids. It took a while for me to realize that as a five-year-old, you have experienced nothing that I had experienced in my life and it's really important that we allow kids to have their time to share their experiences, which I think really does go hand in hand with what Chris is talking about when he says children need to have the say in the classroom.

They haven't lived as we do, they have their own experiences, and they need to share them with one another, and that means being a facilitator and not the main voice in conversations in the classroom. Plus, it makes me feel better at the end of the day, to know ... We know the pitfalls of a single story or a single perspective and being able to step away, I think helps me sleep better at night because I never want my voice to be the one that my kids feel like is right.

Chris: And I think it's important to say within the idea of valuing and giving voice to the kids' perspectives, that never means that we allow anyone to say something that's hurtful, or hateful, or harmful to not only someone in the classroom, but any community of people. But, I think again, the beauty of this work in a classroom within such a diverse setting is that we then have the opportunity to model for our kids how you might respond to something like that. You might do it in a way that helps someone to grow versus help someone to maybe drop their head back into their shell and become resentful about something and just double down on what they had said before, but do it in productive ways.

I think ultimately, and you were talking earlier about reaching out and making parents part of these discussions at home, I think that speaks beautifully to the fact also that we don't want this to be yet one more structure or element of schooling that we get past to go into something else. If we're really doing this work, we're doing it in a way that it's going to be generative for our kids. That these are the same discussions that they're going to be willing and able to have in their homes and other parts of their community as well. If we're really doing what we want to be doing, this goes beyond our classroom walls.

Tiffany: And don't be surprised. I think some of my favorite teaching opportunities have come out of kids going home, having conversations with their parents, and parents coming and sharing their perspectives on what their child has come home and said. It only grows-

Chris: For better or for worse.

Tiffany: For better or for worse.

Chris: That's real right there.

Tiffany: All learning opportunities. For sure. It's cyclical, it's all a learning opportunity.

Nozsa: But that's why it's so important, right? Because yes, it's about our kids and our kids learning to be advocates for themselves and for others, but it also extends it out to the community because we want those parents too, to be able to have those conversations too. Because I can think of a lot of adults who are afraid to also have those conversations, so now their children get to go home and model that for them and encourage them to, "Hey mom or dad, this is something that you might want to think about. Let me tell you what we talked about in class or let me tell you how you handle a situation where someone doesn't look like you or someone doesn't agree with you. We don't have to agree, but this is kind of how our conversation works." We want to extend that out to the parents as well. And then it spreads through the entire community. It's not just about the kids and what goes on in these four walls. It extends further than that too.

Chris: So thinking about families, one of my favorite moments of my career in respect of all of this is when a parent that we all know really well and love came in one day after we'd been talking about gay marriage in the classroom, because it was at that time, there was a lot going on legislatively and everything, and there were some discussions around it and there's also some backlash to a commercial that had happened around the same time that showed a same-sex couple. The mother came in and she wanted to talk with me privately at the beginning of the school day. So someone covered my classmate came out and she just felt very distraught because her daughter came home talking about it and they were very strong Catholics.

She said, she looked at me and she said, "Mom, if I were a lesbian, how would you feel about me?" That was her problem that her daughter had asked that question. My followup question was, "Well, what'd you say? What did you say to her?"

But they wound up having this really great discussion and over the course of the year, they wound up having lots of really great discussions where sometimes they found that their faith was an obstacle to what they wanted for the world and the trouble was navigating those two things and trying to figure out how to make sense of that. But those were really important discussions, our discussions they had and really important process of thought whether you were the adult or the child in that situation.

I love that in the book, we have a series of parents who did interviews and talked about their perspectives from home. That parent is one of the people who were interviewed because for her, that wound being such a powerful experience that she found out she can have discussions with her children at home that she never imagined that she could, because she thought these topics were somehow off limits for them, or maybe that their process of thought or the depth of their thought wouldn't allow them to engage in these discussions. The answer is they do. They do it as seven-year-olds and they do it as nine year olds, or they do it as five-year-olds, but we don't wait for them to be speaking in full sentences before we allow them to start speaking. It's a process and you let the kids do the work and they grow into exactly who they're going to be.

Steph: Before we wrap up. I just wanted to highlight real quick for people listening, the videos that accompany this book. Can you just talk real quickly about what teachers will see those videos and what you hope people will gain from watching them?

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. I'm really proud of the videos that we were able to include because they capture a rich collection of voices and possibilities in the classroom. Basically we shot four different types of videos in support for this book. The first was a collection of interviews with each of us, so that we could take some time to address some of the key concepts that were being discussed in the texts and speak to what they mean to us personally, but also what they mean to our classroom practices.

The second collection of videos, as I mentioned a little bit ago, were from classroom parents who share their own perspectives on this work. One of my favorite clips from the whole collection is a parent who talks about her own son's journey from being a very justice-minded kid when he was here with us in the elementary school and then he went to middle school and some other influences started chipping at him a little bit here and a little bit there. She started hearing little jokes or little comments that never ever would have been permissible before in his mind and suddenly they had. But now his growth as a young man who's in college is very much committed to addressing issues of equity and justice who can now reflect back on those years and realize all the ways that society influences us in different ways and how we have to push back against those.

I think sometimes as teachers we can become so absorbed by the experiences within our classrooms, that listening to parents talk about what this means in their homes and their communities. I think that's really powerful for us, so I love that we've got to include those in the series.

The third collection of videos are the kids themselves speaking to the structures in our classrooms. Sometimes we read professional texts and we wonder, "Did the kids really say that or did they really explain it that way?" I love to hear you get to see it come right out of their mouth and you're like, "Well, that's too amazing," but kids are amazing. If you give them the time and the space and support, our kids are absolutely amazing. I love that these videos show the potential for this work right out of the mouths of the kids themselves.

Lastly, the fourth group of videos we have are the kids in action, right in our classrooms, from the kindergartners, talking about what justice means to them, to older kids, posting really powerful questions and inviting their classmates into the process of figuring those out alongside them.

I think classroom teachers are really going to appreciate seeing what this work can look like with real kids in real classrooms. I think there's lots of professional texts out there and many that I absolutely love and I appreciate, but I think there's a significant lack of voices and professional texts that come directly from those of us who are still in classrooms, from the ones who live it day in, day out, who come against many of the struggles and we work to figure them out together. To me, that's what this book and these videos offer.

Learn More About Social Justice Talk

chrishass-1Chris Hass is a second and third grade teacher at the Center for Inquiry in Columbia, South Carolina. In his twenty years as an educator, he has taught in a variety of settings, served as an adjunct professor for early childhood and elementary programs, and presented at all levels on the importance of integrating social justice teaching into our everyday practices. Social Justice Talk is his first book. Follow him on Twitter


1_D-sRRY1bV_RFD1pm4UvcGgTiffany Palmatier is a kindergarten and first grade teacher at the Center for Inquiry in Columbia, South Carolina. She enjoys living and learning alongside her students, while teaching for social justice. When away from the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family, and exploring with her husband and most precious gift, Lincoln.


Nozsa Tinsley is a third grade teacher at the Center for Inquiry in Columbia, South Carolina. She holds a bachelor's degree is Psychology and a graduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of South Carolina. 


Topics: Equity, Podcast, Heinemann Podcast, Social Justice, Chris Hass, Social Justice Talk

Date Published: 10/08/20

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