Free Printables for Building Student Equity
A single day in the classroom quickly shows that offering the same resources to every student will not result in the same outcomes. Poverty, disability, cultural and environmental factors—these are just a few of the challenges that contribute to the achievement gap, because these challenges mean that some students need more or different resources than their peers.
As teachers, we want all students to receive an equitable education—that is, an education that helps them reach the same learning outcomes regardless of the hardships they might face. However, crowded classrooms and steep demands on teachers often make it feel impossible to offer the individualized attention we want to give. That’s why we’ve assembled these practical, easy-to-use tools to help you take some small steps toward creating a more equitable classroom today.
Overcrowded classrooms often mean that students don’t get the individualized attention they deserve. This resource helps you keep track of your one-on-one interactions with students; that way, you can easily spot which students you haven’t checked in with lately and remember details about what you discussed (whether it’s related to education or not).
Almost every educator will tell you that a student-centered classroom is the way to go, but what does that mean in concrete terms? This resource outlines the specific roles that teachers and students take on to make student-centered classrooms a reality.
Providing an equitable education is a noble calling, but it doesn’t come without its stressors. This resource helps you keep your social–emotional wellness in check. Though many circumstances in teaching are outside of your control, these exercises remind you of simple ways to de-stress when you begin to feel overwhelmed.
One effective way of helping students overcome trauma is to set up student-led peer support groups. For example, depending on your student population, you might set up support groups for “survivors of divorce,” “survivors of bullying,” “survivors of gangs,” etc. This worksheet helps you think through the logistics of setting up these groups.
We all have a lot to learn from each other, especially from people who are different than we are. However, the way we view the world can sometimes lead us to overvaluing or undervaluing people based on certain characteristics. This resource provides exercises to help students recognize what biases they might have and see past them.
Every person, no matter their appearance or ability, is unique. However, our brain’s tendency to quickly categorize what we see can lead to “isms”: that is, assumptions or biases based on outer characteristics. Examples might include racism, sexism, ageism, classism, etc. This resource helps you identify such biases and diminish their impact in your classroom.
More Resources for Creating Equitable Schools and Classrooms
Creating an equitable learning environment is not a problem that one teacher (or even one school or district) can solve overnight. It requires a deep dive into the issues underlying inequity and careful, creative strategizing to ensure students get the resources they need to succeed in later schooling and careers.
The resources from this article are a preview of the kinds of tools you’ll find in Advancement Courses’ professional development courses on special student populations and educational equity. Check out the full courses below for more applicable tools and in-depth strategies on combatting issues of inequity:
- Fostering Cultural Awareness and Inclusivity in the Classroom: How do you apply cultural understanding to your pedagogy and teach your students to embrace other cultures as well? Get concrete strategies for becoming a more culturally responsive teacher and creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and welcome.
- Helping Students Overcome Trauma: Help students transform from trauma victims to trauma survivors by supporting them to proactively deal with trauma. Learn strategies to help your school become trauma sensitive and a place of empowerment and outreach.
- Teaching Poverty’s Children: Learn about the nature, causes, and effects of poverty, and gain robust and effective strategies for helping these students succeed in and out of the classroom.
- Safe Spaces and Affirming Faces: Supporting LGBTQ Youth in Schools: LGBTQ youth are twice as likely to skip school for safety concerns and four times as likely to attempt suicide. Learn about the impact of bias and discrimination, plus how to nurture your LGBTQ students’ self-expression, identity, and relationships at school.
- Empowering Students Through Educational Equity: Students in low-income urban schools don’t always respond well to traditional educational methods and often experience academic inequity. Learn strategies for developing and modifying instruction to truly engage these students, meet their needs, and prepare them for college and a career.
Advancement Courses offers more than 280 online, self-paced PD courses covering both foundational topics and emerging trends in K–12 education. Courses are available for both graduate and continuing education credit for your salary advancement or recertification needs.