Rachel Werner

Creating learning environments in which every child can flourish, especially in regard to self-confidence and academic success, is a challenge on the best of days. Many educators already grappled with this during quarantine. Now it is even more pressing with weeks of protests addressing the stark racial disparities that continue to exist in terms of criminal prosecution, health care access, and pay equity in the U.S.

So, where do we start? The following reading list of anti-racism professional development books helps us begin addressing unconscious and implicit bias in classroom materials and lesson plans.

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1. What Is It About Me You Can′t Teach? by Eleanor Renee Rodriguez, James A. Bellanca, and Deborah Rosalea Esparza

Solid advice for teachers wanting to become better advocates for children of color who are also neurodivergent or living with another physical or cognitive disability.

Written for those who teach first through twelfth grade, this text provides a plethora of strategies and resources for addressing the students’ varying cultural needs in an educational setting.

A road map for those teaching in inner-city schools on how to better relate to their students, in addition to the urban communities they work within.

Delve into the psychology behind why so many tweens and teens opt to “self-segregate” in racial cliques. It also includes what educators can to truly foster inclusive, social dynamics on school grounds.

A “how-to guide” on initiating complex discussions related to social justice topics such as anti-racism, white privilege, and police brutality.

A useful book for administrators seeking effective ways to transform their schools into more equitable, safe spaces in which all kids can thrive.

A good read for educators aware of systemic issues within their school districts which put students of color at a significant disadvantage in reaching benchmarks and achieving academic goals.

This sociological highlights the alarmingly high rates that Black girls are being ignored and villainized. Follows girls as young as elementary-age to high school youths.

One teacher instructively profiles four students subjected to punishment, medication, and numerous other unnecessary inventions within educational settings more conducive to oppression rather than leading them forward.

Pro tips for white teachers to recognize, then push past, internal barriers to engage with the population of their students’ that likely encounters the most negative stigmatization.

What are your favorite anti-racism professional development books for teachers? Share in the comments below.

Plus 15 Books About Racial Justice for Kids.

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