First Presenter's Institution

Richard Allen Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

Richard Allen Schools

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

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Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

The presentation deals with the HEART and HOME strands by providing the school with a climate that is conducive to learning in the classroom. It gives the participant a chance to examine their own biases and look at how that may impact students learning. It explains how cultural diversity is a positive attribute that brings awareness to the students in the classroom thereby creating a unified setting for all. It also gives tips as to how to deal with parents who are minorities by involving them and seeking first to understand them.

Brief Program Description

Someone’s true colors is the kind of person someone really is rather than what the person seems to be. This Powerpoint presentation that includes activities, discussion and handouts, allows the participant to examine their own inherent biases, understand and overcome them. The objective is then to use that knowledge to discover ways of creating a unified classroom by appealing to the needs and cultural inclinations of their students.

Summary

Erik Erikson said, “The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” This presentation seeks to bring understanding about oneself so that they can understand and appreciate the differences in others. It begins by outlining the objectives of culturally responsive classroom management. Explanations and definitions are discussed so the participant is able to accurately assess their knowledge of the subject. An activity follows to help participants recognize their own biases. The discussion then becomes centered on how race affects the classroom and building climate. Participants then engage in another activity to self-discover how diverse their worlds really are or are not. General cultural habits are then addressed with discussion, paying particular attention not to stereotype races or cultures. Strategies are then given to help manage behaviors that may be particular to cultures along with how to work with families of those cultures. The presentation is highly interactive and disabuses the reigning notions that continue to widen the achievement gap. It is a real look at how to help minority students so that they do not continue to be over-identified for special education.

Evidence

Research supports the statement that classroom management has a larger impact on student success than intellectual knowledge, socio-economics or student motivation. The inequities that exist in the classroom then exacerbate management issues in the classroom. Culturally Responsive Classroom Management is key to creating a caring, trustworthy classroom where high expectations exist and learning can take place for all. Current disciplinary practices do not promote equal representation across all groups. African American boys are suspended and expelled at a much higher rate than any other race. This is due in large part to teachers being unable to respond appropriately to the different cultures in her classroom and therefore use punitive discipline much more frequently.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Aleta Townsel-Benson is a native ofHamilton,Ohio. Educated in the school system where she grew up, she saw the injustices and lack of diversity and opportunity for students of color and those in poverty. She vowed early to be a proponent of change in the school system. However, after starting her career with a Bachelors Degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville she decided to chart a different course and earn money in the sales and marketing field. Aleta quickly tired of what she thought was “the good life”. She knew she was not being true to her calling to help change the lives of young people. Hearing her mother’s voice in her ear, she decided to return to her hometown and follow her dream.

She began by substituting in the very system that she wanted to help change. Realizing that her passion was definitely teaching, she applied for and earned a position at the highly laudedMarvaCollinsPreparatory SchoolinCincinnati,Ohio. After the first year she was promoted to Lead Teacher eventually working her way to becoming Dean of Students and Director of Curriculum. She built a very solid reputation as a trainer, coach, classroom manager and instructor.

It was only after perfecting her craft that she decided to teach in her hometown, accepting a position at a new charter school directly across the street from the elementary school where she attended Kindergarten. In two years Aleta was promoted to the position of Principal, growing the campus from 93 students to over 200 students and hiring more African American teachers in her building than in the entire traditional city school district. Aleta did this while attendingAntioch–McGregorUniversityfull-time to earn her Masters Degree in Education, along with serving as church choir director at two different churches. Leading the only charter school in a small political town was no easy feat. But armed with perseverance and a heart for giving children a chance to see people in positions of authority that looked like them, Aleta continued amidst the strife, misconceptions and biases.

Currently Aleta is the Deputy Superintendent ofRichardAllenSchools. She has earned her Superintendent’s license atOhioUniversityand is setting her sights on finishing a doctorate. Aleta enjoys training teachers now even more than she enjoyed teaching, feeling that she can reach more students by giving them better teachers than she could do alone in her classroom. Aleta’s favorite saying is from her mentor and protégée, Marva Collins, “I'm a teacher. A teacher is someone who leads. There is no magic here. I do not walk on water. I do not part the sea. I just love children.”

Dr. Michelle Prear Thomas was born and raised inDayton,OH. Dr. Thomas earned her B.S. in Childhood Education/Natural Sciences from Howard University, an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction as well as an Ed.D in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix, AZ.

She began her career as a Probation Officer for Montgomery County Courts. But it didn’t take long for her to realize that she had a heart to educate students to achieve academically. So, in 1997, she began teaching atWestparkAcademy, a private elementary school inDayton. A deeply compassionate educator, Dr. Thomas believes that every child can be successful academically, morally and professionally to which she devotes her life.

Dr. Thomas is currently the Superintendent of theRichardAllenSchoolswhich is comprised of four successful schools. She uses her subject matter expertise in charter school management and development, hands-on integrated curriculum development, and effective parent-school-community relationships to further her growing district.

Dr. Thomas’ consulting company has conducted trainings for Educators both nationally and globally covering topics such as classroom management, culturally responsive classrooms, and effective leadership practices. She is passionate about her work with urban students.

Keyword Descriptors

Culturally responsive classroom, Classroom Management, Diversity

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 10:15 AM

End Date

3-6-2018 11:30 AM

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Mar 6th, 10:15 AM Mar 6th, 11:30 AM

Your True Colors

Scarbrough 2

Someone’s true colors is the kind of person someone really is rather than what the person seems to be. This Powerpoint presentation that includes activities, discussion and handouts, allows the participant to examine their own inherent biases, understand and overcome them. The objective is then to use that knowledge to discover ways of creating a unified classroom by appealing to the needs and cultural inclinations of their students.