Social justice for elementary: What we've learned from over 1,000 teachers

Social justice for elementary: What we've learned from over 1,000 teachers

Over the past five years, I've been lucky to work with over 1,000 elementary school educators who are bringing social justice to their classroom.

Today, I'm excited to share some of the lessons I've learned from these incredible teachers.

Lesson 1: We have to create our own support system
When it comes to social justice education, unfortunately many educators are own their own. Whether it's a lack of support from families, administrators, or or other teachers (or all three!), many teachers feel like they're in this alone. So, they're turning to a few trusted friends, teacher groups, and Instagram communities to feel connected and supported in this work.

Lesson 2: Many teachers are building social justice education from scratch
At the elementary school level, there aren't enough resources for teaching about social justice. Many teachers are making it up as they go. They're creating lessons from scratch, every time. They're learning, making mistakes, and getting better, but the amount of time they're putting in to create social justice education takes a toll. If this is you, the Little Justice Leaders subscription could help.

Lesson 3: We have to face our mistakes
As social justice educators, we're going to mess up from time to time. There are moments when we don't know how to respond, when we say the wrong thing, or when we look back on a lesson and realize it was problematic in some way. You are not alone! When you have those moments, remember every single one of us has faced similar moments, too. This work is a journey, and it's not an easy one. Face your mistakes, learn from them, and move forward. Every misstep is a chance to reflect, adapt, and improve our impact.

Lesson 4: Kids are most engaged when we're teaching things that matter
Have you ever noticed that kids light up when they feel like what they're learning actually means something? That's the magic of social justice education. Kids crave learning about things that matter (just like adults do!). Hundreds of teachers have told me that their students are most engaged during lessons that center justice.

Lesson 5: They're not too young
Kids get it. Even young kids. They are curious and have an innate sense of fairness. Any teacher that has been doing this work for awhile will tell you: they know and understand more than you think.

So that's it! Five lessons I've learned in five years from over 1,000 elementary school teachers who are creating changemakers.

Ready to be part of something bigger?
Join the Little Justice Leaders community. Together, we're creating a space where educators can learn together, grow, and help build a movement that goes beyond the walls of our classrooms.

Embrace the challenges, celebrate the wins, and remember that every step you take in social justice education is a step toward a brighter, more inclusive future. Your voice and experiences are vital in shaping the landscape for the next generation. So, keep those conversations going, and let's continue changing the world, one lesson at a time!

To get access to tons of free resources and connect with other like-minded educators, join the Little Justice Leaders community.

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