I’m sharing these tips I developed to support my colleagues who were being asked to move to alternative modalities of teaching and learning during the COVID-19 crisis. This information is not only critical to Black students who may being challenged during this time of uncertainty, but also other vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

Here’s what I wrote.

In these challenging turbulent times, equity is needed more than ever. Equity is about giving people what they need to be successful and moves us forward by rejecting the notion that one size fits all.

  1. Don’t make assumptions about what students have access to. Consider doing a survey, sending an email, or simply asking!
  2. In preparing for virtual or other types of learning, consider this: If your students didn’t sign up for virtual learning, maybe there is a reason. Consider giving students more options: picking up packets, mailing material, or asking students to make suggestions.
  3. Think about ways to ask students to partner or group-up.
  4. Take this opportunity to remind students about the value of community and that we should all look out for one another.
  5. Proactively reach out to students who may be withdrawn, isolated, or disconnected. Your actions may the life-line they need to succeed.
  6. Check in with students who may fall through the cracks or fail to keep up.
  7. Check your roster, if a student hasn’t participated, now may be a good time to reach out for a wellness check.
  8. Classrooms are not culturally neutral. Use this time to think of ways you can structure your classroom to be more inclusive.
  9. Be on the lookout for bias, harassment and discrimination.
  10. If you see something, say something or better yet, do something!

For more tips on being equity-minded, contact Dr. Vanessa Lopez-Littleton, Associate Professor, California State University, Monterey Bay, vlittleton@csumb.edu

Photo Credit: Luskin School of Public Affairs UCLA