When I began working freelance as an educator, I needed a vision and a focus for my work that encompassed my passion for education alongside my instinctive drive for equality within society. With the help of my younger brother, I came up with the statement that you see as you open my website:
“My vision for education is one in which all differences are included and welcomed; education is flexible, relevant and leads towards positive social change.”
I stick by it still, and do my best to learn how to do it better every day.
I am reading, listening and learning a lot right now about #Blacklivesmatter. I support the movement.
I believe that Education can be an incredible force for good when it comes to social positive change. As such, in this blog I #PasstheMic – to share my platform and magnify the voices of the educators in my community who are different from me.
Pranav Patel – Founder of Theteacherist.com and the UK’s first antiracist school website De-Colonise the Curriculum, Pranav is an International Keynote Speaker, a TEDx Speaker and dear friend who is always happy to answer my daft questions – and house me when I miss my last train back!
I thoroughly recommend watching his TEDx Norwich talk 2019 – Decolonise the Curriculum, reading his blog – which includes many answers to racial conundrums in the classroom, including – Scenario: A white pupil calls a pupil of colour a racist slur. You hear it, it’s in earshot and it’s directed squarely at the pupil of colour: What do you do?
Aisha Thomas is an Assistant Principal, a Specialist Leader in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and a PSHE Coordinator.
In 2018 Aisha partnered with the BBC to present a documentary for Inside Out West regarding the lack of black teachers in Bristol. This gained her a lot of requests for presentations and talks around diversity – including presenting for the Department of Education.
Still yet to meet in person, Aisha and I are a part of the newly formed Education Wellbeing Collective #EdWellColl – and have a shared taste in jumpsuits.
Her TEDx talk Bristol Why Representation Matters is available here.
She has published two books and recently some Strength Cards(!) for teachers with co-author Frederika Roberts – Character Toolkit for Teachers: 100+ Classroom and Whole School Character Education Activities for 5- to 11-Year-Olds.
Her TEDx talk Re-imagining ‘special’ educational needs is a must for any SENCO.
More recently Elizabeth has concentrated her energy into disability awareness and activism. Her platform on Medium is full of answers to more of my daft questions and includes gems such as – The (not quite) definitive bra guide for disabled women and Love, sex and disabled women: we want to be sexy too.
Most importantly, I can confirm that she makes a mean brownie! Check out Elizabeth’s Website here.