Tricia Ebarvia Profile picture
Jul 11, 2018 18 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Yesterday at #ctj_pd workshop, @Klind2013 asked, "What does it mean to #DisruptTexts?" My initial response was to frame it w/in the context of our classrooms. And so #DisruptTexts for me involves at least two related and necessary moves: /1
1) Replace problematic texts to make space for the rich literary & intellectual history of POC. Consider the themes or essential ?s explored in the curriculum & ask: whose voices, what points-of-view are not reflected in our study? Who is being centered? Then find those texts. /2
This may require some honest, difficult conversations w/colleagues. It will mean, as @TchKimPossible pointed out yesterday, talking about racism, how it manifests itself in our choices, about voices we value and those we do have not. There will be discomfort and defensiveness. /3
It will also be hard because many Ts (myself included) are products of a traditionally unjust system. As I wrote in this piece, I had always considered myself "well-educated" but now I know that "well-educated" has a rather narrow definition. /4…
Therefore—unless you are T who has gone out of their way to seek with intention the voices of POC who have been often left out of the curriculum and have read, read, read these perspectives—this will also be hard bc now you're in a place where you might lack expertise. /5
It will require doing the extra work to make up for this gap in our reading experiences (note: maybe that's a gap we should be talking about).

So this will mean reading outside of our comfort zones. How inclusive is your reading life? (See self-reflection ?s in link above) /6
But #DisruptTexts isn't just about replacing some texts, although that will be necessary and hard to do. And because replacing texts isn't always an option for financial or other practical reasons, here's the second thing that #DisruptTexts also means... /7
2) Apply a critical lens to the texts you DO teach. Consider the traditional "narratives" and themes we teach about certain texts. You know the ones. Gatsby represents American Dream. Atticus and John Proctor are heroic. Lord of the Flies is about the evil in all mankind. /8
Resist those singular interpretations and the narratives they perpetuate. Teach multiple, divergent, even contradicting interpretations. Ask: how are characters portrayed, positioned? Which perspectives are missing? Encourage Ss to take issue w/these dominant interpretations. /9
Use the literature as a forward-facing entryway into the urgent problems of now. Racism in TKAM is not a product of its time; racism is a problem NOW. Don't assume that Ss will know this. Offer Ss opportunities to dig in and explore, question, find relevant connections. /10
Ask Ss to reflect on their own identities and the experiences that have shaped them. Because it's these identities that we bring to every single reading experience. Because it's these identities that are the vehicles for bias and prejudice. Unpack those. For example... /11
TKAM is beloved. But when we see Atticus as a role model, Ss may take away the idea that being like Atticus = good person (i.e. not racist). If our experiences have taught us to "treat others with kindness," if we say to ourselves, "I'm a good person," then... /12
Admiring Atticus (the individual hero) can be comforting. Yet this obscures and erases the fact that racism is not about a single person as much as it is about a SYSTEM. /13
Finally, I want to acknowledge that the language of #DisruptTexts might seem threatening to some. When we remove a (beloved) text, we think of this removal as a loss. We're "losing" something (culture, history, etc.). But the truth is, what we're doing is making space. /14
When we #DisruptTexts, we're making the necessary space to be honest about ALL of our literary history, which must include more voices. This isn't rewriting history; it's correcting it. /15
#DisruptTexts may be about disruption, but ultimately, I think it's about restoration. #DisruptTexts is a type of restorative practice. By reckoning w/gaps in our curriculum (and in ourselves), we can address inequities perpetuated by our curricular choices... /16
And perhaps we can begin to mend the fractures these systemic inequities create in our clsrms & in our relationships w/Ss. When we #DisruptTexts we can invite Ss to understand the real power of literature—to provoke questioning, build understanding, and foster empathy. /End
UPDATING this thread with a blog post of this thread, with some additional thoughts. #DisruptTexts

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More from @triciaebarvia

Oct 8, 2018
YAY! Excited to listen to @angiecthomas talk #TheHateUGive! @ncte
.@angiecthomas encourages readers to see the film and the book as “fraternal twins” - as two different works of art that complement each other, as an opportunity to look at how each shows versus tells. #NCTELearns @ncte
“I wanted each character to break away from stereotypes... to create characters that are 3-dimensional, as full, real people so that young people can say they see themselves”- @angiecthomas on #TheHateUGive and then quotes Dr. Bishop’s mirrors and windows. #NCTELearns @ncte
Read 7 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
My work right now is focused on curriculum, but not just on diverse text selection. For me, it’s about embedding anti-bias, anti-racist pedagogies into my daily practices in big and small ways, but relentlessly so. #ClearTheAir #DisruptTexts
Another one of my goals is to become more active as a role model and mentor to the AAPI Ss in my school as the Ss organization faculty advisor. Because of the Model Minority myth, too often AAPI Ss needs as ignored or underserved. #CleartheAir
My librarian and I are co-facilitating a social justice book club which has so far gotten a great response. Out first selection was Just Mercy and Ts stayed for almost two hours after school to talk! Our next meeting will be focused on action we can take. #CleartheAir
Read 4 tweets
Oct 1, 2018
This week, Ss consider the voices & perspectives that may be missing from texts like The Things They Carried, starting w/some reflection that considers the voices & perspectives they center in their own lives and who O’Brien centers in the text... #DisruptTexts #aplangchat 1/
Students selected articles from the @nytimes Vietnam in ‘67 collection:… #DisruptTexts #aplangchat 2/
Here are some examples of responses from Ss when prompted to consider additional perspectives #aplangchat #DisruptTexts 3/
Read 10 tweets
Sep 30, 2018
Catching up on #TheEdCollabGathering sessions I missed yesterday day—and YES to EVERYTHING my #DisruptTexts co-Founder and friend @juliaerin80 says: We are living in a historic time, a true renaissance of multicultural #yalit.
Like Julia, I didn’t have these texts as a teen. What a difference it would have in my life; what a difference it can make for our Ss now.

It’s an amazing time for #yalit. Will you be a T who engages in this moment or let it pass by? #TheEDCollabGathering #12 #DisruptTexts
I could listen to @juliaerin80’s booktalks all day and 💯 agree w/this: “Jason Reynolds has written the book for everyone.” I have 3 boys, ages 8, 11, & 13 — and all three are reading @JasonReynolds83’s Track series, 11-yr-old read #MilesMorales, & oldest read #LongWayDown 2X.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
So as many know, me and @Tolerance_org Social Justice Standards = 😍. Love how framework works as a foundation & guide for any unit of study, grades K-12.

Ex. Here are essential ?s based on the standards on a unit of study on the idea of HOME.


#TheEdCollabGathering #7
In #AmericanLit, we can explore the idea of HOME throughout the entire year — and #DisruptTexts — starting w/Native and indigenous literatures. #TheEDCollabGathering #7
Some related questions to explore: How have First Nations people defined home? How is home tied to land and language and culture? #TheEdCollabGathering #7 #DisruptTexts
Read 14 tweets
Sep 29, 2018

Of the many things I learned co-presenting w/@teachkate was how we approach planning from different starting pts. Kate, master of rdg workshop, starts w/skills, then texts, then essential ?s. Meanwhile, I start w/essential ?s, texts, then skills. #TheEdCollabGathering #7
But no matter where we start—whether we start with the skills kids will need to apply to new texts independently or the essential questions they can wrestle and grapple with—what is NOT a starting or ending point is the text.

#TheEdCollabGathering #7
We should stop treating texts & the "canon" as if they are fixed.

How often do we start & end w/the "text": reducing literature to content to be consumed v. a means to invite Ss to develop skills & grapple with big, important questions? #DisruptTexts #TheEdCollabGathering #7
Read 5 tweets

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