Articles and news stories are constantly pushing me to consider something new, broaden my perspective, or change the way I look at an issue. My husband likes to joke that my brain explodes with something new on a daily basis. These articles – and the brain explosions that result from them – are so beneficial for me that I wanted to create a place where I could share them, in case you might want to read them, too. Learn more about Things that Made My Brain Explode – and see past posts – here.
Here’s a recent batch of Things that Made my Brain Explode:
- “I hated myself,” he admitted. “I felt trapped. And now I feel so stupid.” He started sobbing, raggedly, struggling to catch his breath. “Why would adults want to do that? Why would they want to fool kids? How could I fall for it?” This piece left me speechless. It’s long, but absolutely worth it. A must-read if you are a parent, mentor, educator, or caregiver for tweens or teens: What happened after my 13-year-old son joined the Alt-Right.
- 25 Fantastic Middle Grade Books by Black Authors. Adding the 10 I haven’t read yet to my summer TBR pile!
- Chobani CEO Pays Off District’s Lunch Debt So Kids Don’t Have To Eat Jelly Sandwiches. It feels, again, like we’ve grossly missed the point. Yes, it’s lovely that this rich stranger paid off lunch debt so that children could eat at school. Kindness is always worth reporting. But take a closer look at that headline. Why did he need to? Why are we here?
- Students increasingly are not reading over the summer, poll finds. Between Books on Bikes and #stabsummerreading, I’m hoping to keep these kinds of numbers out of our neck of the woods.
- “I owe it to students to promote a literacy that is inclusive, authentic, and joyful. I owe it to them to question the canon. I owe it to them to take a critical stance towards every book we read together.” We all do. Teaching and Writing in the Intersection.
- Iowa Book Club Reads Democrats’ Autobiographies – A book club in Iowa is reading the biographies and memoirs of the long list of candidates for President. I’m so inspired – anyone interested in trying this with me?
- Children are throwing themselves in front of guns to save their classmates. Are we helping when we call them heroes? What It Means When Students Become ‘Heroes’.
- A is for Activist: why children’s books are getting political. I’m confused, because the title refers to politicizing childrens books, but then much of the article discusses representation in the childrens book industry. There is a critical difference. Books that deal with politics are inherently political. Books with IPOC characters and authors are not. If we feel that a book is political simply because it has a character from Palestine, that feels like a pretty serious issue.
- The show flipping the script on ‘fat’ and ‘millenial.’
- Periods! Why These Eighth Graders Aren’t Afraid To Talk About Them. I’m so impresed by these girls. Most eighth graders are afraid to talk about them. The period shame for women of all ages is intense, and it starts young.
- It’s mid-May, so you might find this helpful: How to Deal With Complaining From Students.
- Kindergarten teacher: ‘Why our youngest learners are doomed right out of the gate’ — and a road map to fix it.
- If you genuinely wonder how a child could understand gender and identity before puberty, this article might be helpful for you. Young Trans Children Know Who They Are. (It’s also worth the read even if you already ‘get it’.)
- “Your hair is your crown.” Black Hair School for Adoptive Moms.
- “But for black tourists and visitors, these places are valuable not only because they’re honest but also because they open up space for us to just be. No extra legwork, no correcting the historical record, no deciding whether to visit a museum based on how much we can tolerate being lied to on that particular day of our trip.” How a Wave of Honest History Museums Is Changing Black Tourism. (Shoutout to my brilliant friend Jacqueline working her tail off at Monticello to create and support programs like the ones mentioned here.)
- A Letter to my Eighth Graders. Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out thinking about my Library Interns on their way to high school next year.
- “What’s the point of teaching children about conflict resolution skills if we’re not talking about the conflicts that exist because of racism or white supremacy? Without that nuance, she says SEL risks turning into ‘white supremacy with a hug.‘” WOW. Dena Simmons: Without Context, Social-Emotional Learning Can Backfire.