Educating myself about anti-racism

black box

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you know me: You know what I look like – you know that I am black and that I am an educator working in Vienna, Austria. Some of you may know that I was born and bred in Trinidad and Tobago, my ancestors came from Africa and China, with a dash of Indian and European in the mix. As such I feel that had already been well-informed about blackness and racism, as well as the effects of slavery and colonialism, especially from an Afro-Caribbean perspective. Yet, after the events of the past weeks and the global reaction to them, I feel that, in actual fact, there is very much that I DIDN’T know.

What has recently happened to Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd has been the „straw that broke the camel’s back“ for many millions. Yes, senseless killings of people of colour (POC) has happened before. It is a decades-old, yes even centuries-old story. Yet, this time feels different. Just like the #MeToo and #FridaysForFuture movements, we may have reached a tipping point. And, like many educators, I have felt compelled to educate myself to examine what I can do on a personal and professional level. That this topic has superseded a still-raging worldwide pandemic goes to show that we educators cannot afford to be „racially-illiterate“ or remain silent going forward, no matter our country, context or skin colour.

„Educating myself about anti-racism“ weiterlesen

And the learning (and the teaching) goes on!

picture of my dining table as desk

Home schooling, remote teaching, distance learning, online classes. This has become the new normal for hundreds of millions of teachers worldwide facing forced lockdowns – disrupting the lives of many more students and their families in every country that has introduced social distancing during to the spread of COVID-19. In Austria, we’ll enter our third week tomorrow since learning was shifted online, on 16 March. In these few weeks we’ve all learned a lot – teachers, students and parents. We’ve learned about things we never thought we could do. We’ve learned how to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. But we’ve also learned what is possible. Here’s how I’ve been managing my classes in this online phase.

„And the learning (and the teaching) goes on!“ weiterlesen

Back to school: Quizlet 1000 word challenge!

words on hands picture

I’m quite excited to be teaching English this again and I’m looking forward to seeing how my students react to the activities we’ll be doing.

We will start the year off with a 1000 word Quizlet challenge. I’ve been a Quizlet ambassador for many years now, having used the online platform in diverse scenarios and learning groups. Marta Szymczak, who teaches in Poland, posted this really great idea on Facebook on how she got her students to do this. She explains it here. Thanks for the inspiration Marta!

How will the challenge work?

I’ve created 10 lists, each with 100 vocabulary words that students should have learned in the past two years. The goal is for them to review these terms and practise memorising methods. Of course, my ultimate goal to for them to realise how much they already know. We will surely play Quizlet live as part of the revising process so they are motivated to learn.

All students will be given access to my class on Quizlet and be tasked to revise and learn all words in all sets. They will need to spend time at home This will surely take a few weeks. After their learning time, they will do a „test“ on them to earn a vocabulary badge!

Here are the links to the sets. They are free to be used/reused and adapted (CC0). 

Feedback welcome!











Follow me on twitter to see results and reactions of the students to this challenge.