We’re on a mission to help educators create inclusive classrooms, to support that mission, we partnered with our friends at The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to co-create over one hundred strategies, tools and resources that support educators in developing culturally responsive teaching and learning practices.
As part of our Master Teacher Project, we selected 21 teachers and school leaders based in and around Kansas City who utilize culturally responsive teaching best practices in their schools. These experienced educators participated in Professional Learning Communities and created resources to support educators in meeting every student where they are.
“As students and teachers grapple with distance learning, it’s more important than ever to create spaces where students feel honored and respected,” said Monica Washington, Ed.S., Manager, Solution Design and Instructional Coach at BetterLesson. “By bringing together support from The Kauffman Foundation, BetterLesson’s experience with instructional coaching, and the expertise of these educators, we’re able to share a robust collection of culturally responsive instructional strategies and classroom artifacts during a time when they’re crucially needed.”
These instructional strategies are designed for educators teaching grades K-12, and cover equity-focused topics such as Class Greetings to Create Community, Making Cultural Content Connections, Unheard Voices of History, and Creating and Reflecting on the Story of Self. The success of this project has prompted the creation of a second Master Teacher Project called “Meeting the Needs of All Learners”, focused on supporting English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
Educators in the Master Teacher Project come from 11 school systems, including Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, Shawnee Mission School District, Lawrence Public Schools, Brookside Charter Schools, Ewing Marion Kauffman Schools, Center School District, Olathe School District, University Academy School District, Crossroads Charter Schools, and Independence School District.
Three of those teachers shared why this initiative felt different and important:
Marquis Hall, M.Ed., Teacher at Kansas City Public Schools: “In my five years of teaching, I’ve seen and experienced systems that are intentionally meant to marginalize students of color. I joined the Master Teacher Project because I wanted to be a part of something that’s true to who I am as an educator, and help to dismantle those inequitable systems that have remained so prevalent in education.”
Danielle Farr, Teacher at University Academy Middle School: “I grew up in rural Missouri, where the majority of the people I went to school with were Caucasian. It felt isolating – there weren’t many people representing me or my culture. As a teacher, I’ve worked to ensure none of my students feel like that, which is why I became interested in the Master Teacher Project. My experiences inspired me to incorporate different cultures into the classroom so that students can see themselves in every content area.”
Dr. Shakiyya Bland, Mathematics Curriculum and Instructional Learning Coach at Lawrence Public Schools: “While growing up and in college, I remember looking for diversity and feeling lost. I wanted to be a part of bringing that to education. So I dug deep into my own understanding of race, bias and anti-racist practices. Through my work with The Kauffman Foundation’s Amplify KC, I was introduced to this Master Teacher Project, which aligned with my goal to develop curriculum that builds spaces for our students and our communities.”
For more information, members of the media may contact [email protected] or 608.216.7300
Explore the CRTL Strategies
Below are a small sample of the Culturally responsive teaching strategies in our Master Teacher Project collection. We invite you to get started here, browse further, and then register for a free account in our Library where you can save your favorites.
Supporting Educator Reflection and Growth:
- Analyzing Classroom and School Structures with the Social Discipline Window
- Question Cube Conversation Starters to Support Reflective Staff Conversations
- A Day in the Life of an Emerging Bilingual Student
Honoring Diverse Perspectives and Needs
- Class Greetings to Build Community
- Creating and Reflecting on the Story of Self
- Intentional Library Choices
Building Classroom Community
- Math Circles to Promote Equitable Discourse
- “My Mission, Our Mission” Identity Patches
- Pop Culture Connection and Dialogue in the Classroom
- Open Mic Fridays
Learn more about our professional development workshops focused on culturally responsive teaching and learning practices for teachers and leaders.