How Do We Create Equitable Virtual Learning Spaces for Students?

This week, Diversity Equity and Inclusion practitioner Erica Roth and I gave a webinar called Seen, Known, and Loved: Equitable and Inclusive Practices for Classroom Teachers K-8 through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. We spoke to a group of educators about practices to ensure that students feel safe and valued in the classroom (through changes to curriculum, libraries, physical spaces, and more). Towards the end of the presentation, we challenged our participants to consider the current state of teaching, and to put thought towards how to purposefully create equitable virtual spaces for all students.

We’re still learning. And with widespread virtual education still so new for so many of us, and changing so much each week, we have more questions than answers. So we shared the questions at the heart of our planning, and passed them along for others to consider, too. Here are the questions we discussed:

  • What supplies am I assuming that my students have access to at home?
  • Am I aware of community services that are available to help families? Is my school or district sharing this?
  • What assumptions am I making about my student’s home, or workspace?
  • Am I using grading and assessment practices that grade the parent, or that grade the student?
  • Am I providing opportunities to allow students to continue to separate their home life from their school life?
  • Am I providing opportunities for different types of learners to shine and feel successful?

What questions are on your mind as you prepare to teach this year, whether online, in person, or a hybrid? Do you have thoughts to share about any of these questions? What questions are we missing?


You can see the discussion around these questions, as well as the rest of Seen, Known, and Loved: Equitable and Inclusive Classroom Practices for K-8 Teachers, at www.vais.org.

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