Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools

Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools

by Kass Minor
Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools

Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools

by Kass Minor

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Overview

Revolutionize the way you negotiate the realities of childhood education

In Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools, accomplished educator Kass Minor delivers an inspiring and practical exploration of what it means to be a just teacher in a system that actively incentivizes injustice. The author explains how to build joyful experiences even in the face of inevitable injustice and demonstrates how to accept the seemingly conflicting experience of joy in the face of heartbreak.

In the book, you'll learn to be a catalyst for change, unlearning the patterns of school that have marginalized children while becoming aware of tenets of justice as they manifest in educational spaces. You'll also discover:

  • Strategies for creating human-centered care and joy, in which thoughts, actions, and decisions are drawn from within the school community
  • Techniques for creating student-centered experiences within standards-based classrooms
  • How to raise the level of family involvement in your students' education and improve communication between family and staff

An essential blueprint for K-12 educators, school support staff, and school administrators, Teaching Fiercely will also earn a place on the bookshelves of education policymakers, researchers, and students.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119867678
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 05/02/2023
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 347,351
Product dimensions: 9.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

KASS MINOR is an inclusive educator who has worked as a teacher, staff developer, adjunct professor, speaker, and documentarian. She is the co-founder of The Minor Collective, a community-based movement designed to foster sustainable change in schools.

Table of Contents

Work Alongs and Reflections xi

Author’s Note xiii

Foreword by Sara K. Ahmed xv

Introduction xvii

Acknowledgments xxxiii

Prologue: Anthem for a Teacher xxxv

Chapter 1: Building the Foundation: A Structured Generator of Hope for More Joyful and Just Schools 1

A Structured Generator of Hope 1

The Pedagogy of Justice 5

What Is Justice? 7

Justice for Whom? (In the Realm of School Integration) 17

Where is Joy Located in the Pursuit Toward Justice? 22

Dreams, Nourishment, Rituals: Toward Future Goodness 25

Historical Underpinnings: Exploring the Roots of Schooling 31

Chapter 2: Seeing and Feeling the Pressure of Injustice: Perspective Changes Everything 35

Dominant Culture: Perspective Changes Everything 38

Catalyst for Change: Knowing How to See and Feel the Pressure of Injustice 44

Identifying Layers of Perspective 49

Tools for Perspective Analysis: More than a Decade Later 52

Timeline Pedagogy: To Move Forward, We Must Look Back 62

Chapter 3: A Framework for Social Justice Work in Schools and Gentle Notes on Learning 75

Collaborate 77

Nurture 78

Build 81

Reflect 83

Connecting the Collaborate, Nurture, Build, and Reflect Framework 84

Teaching Fiercely: Spreading Joy and Justice in Our Schools ix

Gentle Notes on Learning: Rituals and the Beginnings of Our Thought Sanctuary 96

Somatic Literacy 97

Chapter 4: Pursue Joy by Thwarting Injustice: Develop Teacher Agency Through Reflective Practice and Collaboration 105

Points of Reflection 109

The Nature of a Curriculum-Making Journey 116

Embracing Teacher Intellect: Changing the Narrative About Teachers 133

Chapter 5: Moving Toward Joy: Student-Centered Experiences in Standards-Based Classrooms 141

To Teach Fiercely Requires Teacher Agency 145

Four Methods of Instructional Delivery 156

Curriculum-Making: Frameworks and Foundational Understandings 163

Chapter 6: The Joyful Work of Building Imaginative Capacities Matters: Know that Learning Predates School 175

“Do Schools Kill Creativity?” 179

Working Toward Justice: The Continued Conversation on Student Centeredness 183

Chapter 7: Beyond the Protest March: How to Design Justice-Oriented Learning Spaces, Experiences, and Curriculum That Is Immersed in Joy for Kids 205

Designing Justice-Oriented Learning Spaces 211

The Nuts and Bolts of Justice Designs 213

What Matters to Children 223

Chapter 8: Negotiating the Curriculum for Your Current Students in Today’s World 227

Three Paths for Considering Kids, Justice, and Curriculum Design 233

Epilogue: Redefining Ferocity 245

My Edu-Credo 247

Works Cited 249

About the Author 265

Index 267

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“What a grounding and energizing reminder of the power, hope, and everyday joy of our world-changing profession. When the weight of teaching feels heaviest to bear, pick up this book.”

– Carla Shalaby, Author of Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom From Young Children at School

“When I think about educators who are out there doing ‘the work,’ one of the first people who comes to mind is Kass Minor. In her debut book, Kass leads from her years of experience working in New York City schools, and always from a place of loving accountability. This is a must read for any educator and person who strives to center community in their field.”

– Liz Sohyeon Kleinrock, Author of Start Here Start Now: A Guide to Antibias and Antiracist Work in Your School Community

“Kass Minor’s luminous book, Teaching Fiercely, draws us into a world where teachers actively cultivate a pedagogy of justice and joy. Through practical tools and personal stories, Minor invokes a space of radical possibility, reminding us that our communities already hold the knowledge we need to transform teaching and learning.”

– Shane Safir, School Transformation Coach, Consultant and Author of The Listening Leader and Street Data

“Teaching Fiercely is a joyful, collegial invitation to incorporate our whole powerful selves into teaching for justice so that we may invite students to engage and learn with their whole powerful selves. As a most beautiful bonus, this invitation comes with guidance for teaching for justice in meaningful, transformative ways from an author who is known to walk her justice talk.”

– Paul Gorski, Founder of the Equity Literacy Institute

“In a landscape heavy with the weight of increasing WHYs about the urgency for remedying injustices, Kass Minor provides a wise, insightful, and joyful guide for educators about HOW to move forward day to day in the work of justice with a ferocious heart.”

– Ashley Lamb-Sinclair, Author, Educator & National Geographic Explorer

Teaching Fiercely is exactly what you need right now whether you are a new or veteran teacher. Kass Minor's voice is strong and clear – teaching must be joyful and just. At the heart of this book is love and respect for children, families, communities, and teaching as an art. This book will be your anchor to living a teaching life in which you bring your whole self, and which is steeped in reflection and action.

– Dr. Laura Ascenzi-Moreno, Professor of Bilingual Education, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

“For educators who are striving to engage in justice-centered work and align values to equitable classroom practices, this book will nourish your soul and well-being during these complex times in education. Kass Minor beautifully blends scholarship, teacher activism, and her wealth of educational experiences to emphasize how we build and sustain a sense of connection and belonging in school communities out of love for youth and humanity.”

– Erica Buchanan-Rivera, Educator and Author of Identity Affirming Classrooms: Spaces that Center Humanity

“Educators seeking a relevant, accessible playbook to center joy and counter injustice in schools should approach this book with a curiosity like it was written. Kass animates possibilities that have not yet been imagined or realized in this rhythmic compilation of curated practices for a truly fierce commitment to serving children.”

– Natalie Zwerger, RE-Center Race & Equity in Education

“Kass Minor has crafted a glorious literacy love letter to all educators committed to bringing ‘joy and justice’ to life in the company of children. Her words are the gentle nudge we need to envision the HOW so that we may assume an active role toward the diverse, equitable, and inclusive schools our children deserve.”

Dr. Mary Howard, Literacy Consultant and Author

“Amidst the fatigue and burnout that characterizes teachers' lives, Kass Minor invokes a rethinking of the educational project. This book outlines the real, nourishing classroom practices that support students’ comprehension of—and responsiveness to—justice and equity.”

– Cathlin Goulding, YURI Education Project

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