Liberatory Curriculum Coaching

I was a teacher for 6 years. If you are a teacher who wants to work for liberation, I feel your pain—I know what it’s like to struggle within a violent system. I have so much to say about schooling—I’ll add more to this page soon. The main takeaway, though, is that intelligence is a myth, and that schooling, by designworks to reaffirm, strengthen, and justify race and class hierarchy and oppression. As you know!

As a teacher, how do you fight this system?

Consider hiring me to support you in developing liberatory curriculum. (Read more about my teaching experience).You may also want to consider enrolling in my antiracism coaching project, Abolition in the Bones (separate website; there’s a special course for teachers). 

What is liberatory curriculum?

Liberatory / anti-oppression curriculum has probably been better defined and described by others and I will update this section with quotes from wiser folks asap. My definition would be twofold:

  1. The content facilitates students’ understanding of systems of oppression, as well as nurturing their ability to work toward liberation for themselves and others.
  2. This content is accessible to all students—regardless of how badly schooling has failed them—i.e., regardless of their levels in reading and other skills, and regardless of abilities and disabilities. Disabilities are real, but intelligence is a myth spun by the Eugenics movement.

So what is offered here?

I’ll help you create your own materials to supplement (or substitute for, if you can get away with that) district-provided materials. These materials could do some or all of the following:

  • Be accessible for students of all reading levels and disabilities/abilities.
  • Foster students’ ability to think critically and engage intellectually, regardless of their academic skills. (In fact, question the very skills in which they are considered “deficient”!)
  • Expose the oppressive structures inherent in all society’s institutions—including schooling.
  • Support students in figuring out how they want to work toward liberation for themselves, their communities, and the world.

Let me know your goals and risk tolerance and I’ll support you in creating amazing curriculum and materials!  

Will I get fired for this?

We can calibrate the materials to fit your risk tolerance. If you can’t afford to risk your job but would like to insert a few twists in here and there, or just make your materials more accessible to different skill levels and dis/abilities, I’m happy to help.

If you have more insulation against systems of oppression (for example, if you’re cis and able-bodied and neurotypical and white, if you come from wealth, if you have other sources of income that could sustain you, etc.), gently consider taking more risk in your teaching. 

And, if you consider, & conclude that you just can’t take risks for whatever reason, don’t! Only you know what you can do. I will never judge or push you. Sincerely!

education justice now

My Experience

  • I taught in public & charter schools from 2007-2013 on Chicago’s South Side. I participated in unionizing both charter schools that I taught in.
  • I taught fifth grade, as well as social studies in middle school and high school.
  • I was chosen for leadership positions every year from 2010-2013, including a stint as the literacy coach responsible for introducing literacy strategies in all subjects.
  • In addition to social studies I am experienced in writing lesson plans and tutoring in math, science, and language arts.
  • I created two month-long interdisciplinary curricula including writing every lesson plan in every subject. If I had it to do over again, I’d make this a more collaborative effort. One of these curricula topics was Ecological Justice, the other was Social Justice. 

Content Warning: Racism

I taught almost all Black students; most were low income as well.

I was trapped in a racist way of thinking: while I could definitely see that they were “intelligent” and complex thinkers (as well as poets, artists, musicians, and compassionate and caring school community members), I still thought of the students (and their families) as suffering, lacking, deficient. I saw violence and poverty as defining their lives more than their poetry, art, music, care, philosophy and social criticism. I also thought of myself as their savior, their hope. All of this was—obviously—incredibly racist.

I’ve learned to see the students in my past as resourced, brilliant, capable, joyful, loving, and clever at navigating a world that was determined to keep them down and destroy them.

If you’re stuck in these thought patterns too, no need for shame—but I can support your work toward shifting!