COVID-19 has brought a lot of attention to the everyday superheroes that provide healthcare, education, and more to our communities. It's no surprise that teachers have been highlighted recently for the work we put in educating the future generation. As parents, a lot of us got a dose of teaching during the recent eLearning experience we had to navigate thru with our children. I had the opportunity to chat with Mrs. LaNesha Tabb who has been teaching outside the box for years. Checkout her advice below on teaching and hustling during the pandemic:
What is the mission behind Education with an Apron? I would say that the mission behind education with an apron is all about empowering Educators to think outside of the box, understand that little kids can do big things, and bring honest and inclusive social studies lessons to the classroom.
What advice would you give teachers on getting started with a side hustle? I would honestly encourage teachers that are looking for a side hustle to focus on building up their own brand. If you are trying to get started, I always tell people to find their Niche and make yourself the authority on that subject. You want to curate your audience so that whenever people are looking for something specific they think of you. So for me, when people think of me they either think of writing or social studies but – that's because that is the content that I put out consistently.
What advice would you give to teachers on incorporating culture into the classroom? When you were trying to incorporate culture into the classroom I would encourage teachers to make sure that they have a mature enough understanding of what culture is. I think for so many Educators when they think about culture, they think about the stereotypical Culture Night that so many schools might have. They think about food or certain ways of dressing... But they don't consider the fact that culture is literally and bedded in everything that we do. Our profession is 80% white and the majority of children in public schools are not white. I think we see a huge clashing of cultures because teachers don't understand that culture is a critical part of what we do. I would advise teachers to not only learn their students on a cultural level but also make sure they are not pushing their culture on their students.
Has racism, stereotypes, bias, etc. ever affected you in the classroom? Honestly, I haven't experienced any overt acts of racism in the classroom. I have felt the sting of microaggressions though. Those happen all the time! A sideways comment from a colleague... You can tell which parents are uncomfortable with the thought of having a Black teacher for their child. You deal with it like you do any other day as a black person in America... It's frustrating but we always do what we have to do.
As a K-2 teacher is eLearning a feasible option for kids whose parents work, are not present, etc.? You got me stumped on this one! I am a kindergarten teacher but I also have a 4 and a seven-year-old at home. Doing eLearning was seriously one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life... And while I desperately want my kids to go back to school, I'm really nervous about doing that as well. I can't imagine the position that so many families are going to be in because they can't not work.
What can teachers look forward to learning in your upcoming book, “Unpack Your Impact”? We are really excited about this and it will be releasing in September! We wrote this book with primary Educators in mind because we had noticed that social studies either didn't happen at all or if it did happen, it was very " Johnny Appleseed" or A bunch of George Washington crafts. We were looking at the world around us and realized that our most important areas of life... Finance, Civics, geography, Are just missing with full-grown adults! And we stopped in realize that that's probably because the social studies education standards for so many students are extremely low. So we decided to flip that on its head! So while the book is for primary Educators, we also encourage parents to read it because they might realize that this is the sort of Education that their children are getting and they might be moved to take action. That is our hope anyway!
You can follow LaNesha on Instagram by CLICKING HERE and also subscribe to her page to checkout her blogs on teaching by CLICKING HERE.