Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dr. Baldwin's Thoughts on Thursday - January 25, 2018

To the RPS Community,
A majority of the people we meet would agree that racism and sexism are wrong - and they are. But there are a few more ‘isms’ that we don’t always talk or hear about. An ‘ism’ is ultimately stereotypes and biases that we might consciously or unconsciously hold of one group or another.
Oppression comes in many forms and there is no hierarchy of human rights as all forms of oppression are interconnected. Take a look at the seven isms below. It certainly isn’t a comprehensive list, but a starting point as we continue our journey towards equity for all members of our community here in the Ridgefield Public Schools. (www.gobeyondwords.org)
 Some topics are easier to talk about than others. 
What can and should we do when we find ourselves shying away from difficult conversations?
Click the link below to read more:
This message was modified and adapted from http://www.gobeyondwords.org/The_Future_We_Want.html#MERE. Retrieved on 12/12/2017.
Karen Baldwin, Ed. D. 
Superintendent of Schools 
Ridgefield Public Schools 

Dr. Baldwin's Thoughts on Thursday - January 18, 2018

To the RPS Community,
Here are three websites I found interesting this week. Take a look and consider the idea of 'race as a construct'.
Websites on race – In this Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy article, Sara Demoiny (Auburn University) recommends three websites as resources for discussions of race as a social construct:
• Race: The Power of an Illusion: http://www.pbs.org/race/000_General/000_00-Home.htm
• Race: Are We So Different? http://www.understandingrace.org/home.html
“Websites to Explore Race as a Social Construct” by Sara Demoiny in Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, January/February 2018 (Vol. 61, #4, p. 469-472), no free e-link; Demoiny can be reached at sbd0026@auburn.edu.
Karen Baldwin, Ed. D. 
Superintendent of Schools 
Ridgefield Public Schools 

Dr. Baldwin's Thoughts on Thursday - January 11, 2018

Dave Eggers' picture book Her Right Foot is an interesting take on the Statue of Liberty and the notion of diversity and acceptance within the United States. Enjoy a video read aloud of the text.

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers - A Read Aloud

Brief synopsis:
"In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation."
Karen Baldwin, Ed. D. Superintendent of Schools Ridgefield Public Schools 

Dr. Baldwin's Thoughts on Thursday - January 4, 2018

Dear RPS Community, 
In the education world there is a lot of discussion and emphasis around ‘teaching tolerance’ and it makes me wonder what is the difference between tolerance & acceptance? And why is the difference important? 
Which would you rather experience? Being tolerated or accepted?

December 21, 2017 - Initial Dr. Baldwin's Thoughts on Thursday

To the Ridgefield Public Schools Community,

In my role as superintendent of schools, I meet people all the time. Whether I’m in a school building talking with teachers and principals; participating in a meeting in town; visiting Hartford to learn of new legislation; or bumping into colleagues and friends from the past, people are an important part of my day - everyday. 

And what seems to be a constant is that I often learn something new when I talk to people. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to someone tell me a story about their upcoming vacation or a great activity they tried out with students - and on occasion, I hear something that is really interesting or important. But the best conversations and interactions are when I hear something that makes me re-consider or re-evaluate what I think I already know about a topic.

To share some of my experiences with the larger community of RPS, I will be sending out a short message each week that will hopefully pique your interest, or make you consider something you may not have thought about in a long time. Each week you’ll receive a message that contains a short video clip, or a quote, or link to a provocative article and it will come from the handle, ‘Karen Baldwin’s Thoughts on Thursday’!