Students want to feel loved, welcomed, and part of a community. Teachers and other school staff play a huge role in making students feel like their authentic selves in the classroom. Part of a student's authentic self is the racial, socioeconomic, gender, and other aspects of their identity as they play out in the classroom. When students are at their best or at their worst, all teachers see is their behavior, often seeing past what the student really needs. In this discussion, students reflect on the importance of having a space to be vulnerable and safe in, and ask participants to identify strategies they can use to encourage students to express their authentic selves.
Participants will be engaged in student-run activities, games, and conversations.