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Covid-19: Sensitivity Training

Teachers at schools in these strange times have had to completely change up their teaching practices to accommodate the needs of their struggling students. And while they were at it, make time to “get with the program of the WOKE” educators out there. Over the last month or so (August-September 2020) teachers have been urged to take courses to improve their readiness for the new world of school.

Below is a list of expressions that pepper many training courses, pointing to the former inadequacies of their methods and their mindsets. You want to get with the program? Then start with your language adjustment. From now on these are the words, expressions, and aphorisms (whether right, wrong, woke or asleep) that rule the world of education:

Freedom teaching

Anti-racist work, anti-racist training

There is no such thing as a passive anti-racist stance

Abolitionist’s Mindset

Confronting multiple forms of oppression

Waring against the status quo, it’s time to dismantle what is

Black bodies are not for sale

Education is Political, so, Teacher, what is your agenda?

Silencing and exclution

Perpetuation of the problem

Critical consciousness? Where do you stand? Why there?

Socio-Emotional Work

What are your principles? Especially those you must leave behind?

Are you asking the hard questions of your practice?

Reimagining educational settings

Normalcy is rooted in racism

Shifts in curriculum today are a must

Systems of oppression, patriarchy, homophobia, racial bias, hate, and denigration

Other stakeholders and partners besides students?

Intersectional Lens

Holistic Care


Activism and care

Class / Poverty / Race / Bias

Time to unpack those biases

Triggers? They are everywhere

Time to take “deliberatory action”

Stop self-harm, practice self-care

All of us are wounded healers

Racism is a pandemic that is not going away, there is no herd immunity.

Dystopian realities

Sanitized hall passes

Social distanced, masked, breezes, air purifiers, fans

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Canada add a fourth W

Four W’s: Wash hands, wait your turn, wear a mask (or two), watch your distance

The SYSTEM is broken: Racism, sexism, ageism, fat shaming, transphobic, hazing, bullying, hate speech …


They/Them pronouns

My/It/Its pronouns

Trust with authenticity

Healing modalities

Continuum of care

Resilience and Beauty

Trauma, pain, stress occurring simultaneously

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs | Simply Psychology
Abraham Maslow, Simple Psychology

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Relate / Regulate/ Learn

Find your rhythm

Model healing space

BE the buffer

Teacher must be a critical cog for students

Sustainable family engagement

Negative stereotypes


Challenge biases

Experience discomfort

Constant, vigilant self-awareness

Dominant culture

Dismantle White Privilege

De-center whiteness, that bigoted and racist norm

Meet you where you are

Equity and inclusion

Create community

Check-in with colleagues

Acknowledge the gaps

More frequent check-ins, shorter duration

Duplicity is everywhere

Sensory overload

Respond rather than react


Think more deeply about the WHY.

Get the wiggles out

Avoid sensory ambiguity

Developmentally appropriateness

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Ways to Experience Mindfulness

Rhythm, Movement, Meditation — Mindfulness

Teachers: be predictable and be steady

What are your themes and habits to kick?

Control your energy

Model behavior at all times

Culturally responsive

Prepare for emotional safety

Design the next protocol

Question and tear down that status quo

Designated SAFE SPACES

Relationship regulation


Holding power, holding space, holding grace


Lean into those challenges

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What is a microaggression anyway?

Micro-Aggressions against others by the dominant culture




Gender issues

Trustworthiness is the key

Reflection, Reaction, Release

Crowd sourcing that question

Resonating with the minority

You are permitted to “Have a Moment.”

Buffer the pain, buffer to learn

Questions: Do you only have authentic relationships? What about real transactions with students?

How is this “Landing With You?”

This work is scaffolded, tested, cauterized and grounded

Intersectionality among all traumas

Time to disenfranchise grief

If you are not woke, you are not wanted

Time to honor humanity

Post Script:

As one viewer of this post noted: “interestingly, with all this language about ‘teaching the teachers’ not one single word is mentioned about reading, writing or arithmetic. Nothing about building character and resilience. Nothing about personal responsibility. Not one word about civics and everyone’s personal responsibility to our society. Nothing is said about attendance or about showing up for class. Nothing about behaving one’s self while at school.

And, while we are talking about it where is the idea of respect for your teachers, is it any wonder why our society is in decline? It seems clear we have lost focus and all perspective of what we have left behind.”