Racism is Pandemic as Well
Drs. Mary Raygoza, Raina León, and Aaminah Norris
Teacher Education Program, St. Mary’s College of California
In the spring of 2020, a team of educators at Saint Mary’s College of California in the Teacher Educator Program got together to meet the challenge of transitioning to online teaching head on. Together, Drs. Mary Raygoza, Raina León, and Aaminah Norris collaborated on an open document, titled “Humanizing Online Teaching,” inspired by one of the classes in their program. They shared it widely, and within a few days, several hundred educators across the country viewed the document. “Humanizing Online Education” emphasizes the following categories: Building and Maintaining Beloved Community; Be Prepared; Fostering Equitable Participation; Group Work and Group Roles; Sharing Out; Other Helpful Zoom Functions; Be Flexible, Be Patient, and Be You; and Some Notes on Asynchronous Teaching.
We first interviewed Mary, Raina, and Aaminah in April, but due to an unexpected technological error, we lost their file. We were crushed. The conversation in April was robust and complex, full of raw emotions like hope, fear, and gratitude. We decided to take a risk and sheepishly reach out to these three brilliant teachers to ask for a do-over. We were thrilled when they agreed!
Our second conversation was just as fulfilling as the first. In it, we talk about how each of them is coping with the realities of teaching in the COVID19 Era. We dive deep into our emotions about George Floyd’s assassination and the aftermath, the calls we all faced to make contributions in this unique historical moment, and how we think our students are affected by the realities of 2020.
Find their episode wherever you get your podcasts.
- Take a look at their shared document: Mary Raygoza, Raina León and Aaminah Norris. “Humanizing Online Teaching” (2020). Available at: http://works.bepress.com/mary-candace-raygoza/28/
- Mary co-hosted the “Humanizing Online Math Teaching” webinar over the summer. Click here for the slides.
- Aaminah has a new podcast. Listen to “Unhidden Voices.” She mentions her interview with her brother, who was tear gassed while protesting. Find the interview here: https://anchor.fm/aaminah-norris/episodes/A-Black-Man-Leads-by-Example-with-Special-Guest-Matin-Abdel-Qawi-eh9slc
- Raina León is a nationally-lauded writer, artist, and coach. See her website: https://rainaleon.com/.
- Raina read poetry by Derrick Weston Brown.
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Interview conducted: 7/27/20