The Educator's Playbook

Stories help kids understand who they are and who they can be. Thomas highlights stories that deal with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic, so all students can better understand our diverse world. 


By taking a gender conscious approach, educators develop and display an awareness of how gender bias, roles, and expectations play into their teaching practice, and ultimately move towards more equitable teaching. 


Educators enter the profession because of a deep commitment to learning, children, and their communities. But once they arrive in schools, they often find that day-to-day work can be grueling and stressful. In her new book, Penn GSE’s Annie McKee gives readers tools to break the cycle of unhappiness in their daily work. 


It’s the question math teachers know will come up at some point, “when am I going to use this in real life?” The best answer: “how about right now?” Standards reforms and curriculum trends emphasizing critical thinking skills are trying to help students engage in mathematics relevant to real life.


One in four American adults — and one in five children — experiences mental health problems. Black Americans are diagnosed at lower levels, but research suggests the numbers don’t tell the full story. Black families are more likely to have issues accessing care, or finding the type of mental healthcare that meets their needs.


In 2017, digital literacy is literacy. Eleni Miltsakaki offers ideas for how educators can make this crucial life skill a part of their students' everyday habits.

Throughout the year, Thomas tweets recommended books via the Twitter account @healingfictions. Here are her 2016 favorites that deal with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class in ways that are real and empathetic.


There has been a spike in racial and ethnic intimidation and harassment since the presidential election. Many of these incidents are happening at K-12 schools. Penn GSE's Howard Stevenson offers advice for how educators can protect their students and care for themselves.

For children to thrive as learners, they need to feel all aspects of their identity are welcomed in a school. Kate Kinney Grossman shares these ideas for building an “identity safe” school and classroom.