The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast, Episode 185
Jennifer Gonzalez, host
GONZALEZ: One November morning in 2015, Sawsan Jaber was in her suburban Illinois classroom preparing for a day of teaching. As an Palestinian-American teacher in a district with an overwhelmingly white teaching staff, Jaber already felt out of place among her colleagues; that feeling was underscored by what happened next. An ISIS bombing had just struck Paris the day before, which prompted another teacher to stop by Jaber’s room that morning to ask, “How do you feel about what your people did in France yesterday?”
That moment—the insensitivity and ignorance of that question—changed the direction of Jaber’s career. Although she was planning to pursue a Ph.D. in English, she could no longer ignore the urge to use her own experiences to look more deeply into whether Arab-American students feel a sense of belonging in schools. Her district had seen a massive growth in its population of Arab students, but had taken no deliberate steps to learn about what unique needs they might have or how to meet them. Those students became the focus of her dissertation.
Every student deserves to go to a school where they feel seen and included, where their academic and emotional needs are met, and where they can proudly share and be accepted for their whole selves. Because this is not the reality in most schools, equity work is still urgently needed. At Cult of Pedagogy, we have turned our attention many times to issues of equity and social justice in education, but none of that attention has been given to struggles that are specific to Arab-American students.
While most of the approaches we’ve explored for making our classrooms more inclusive for all students would by default improve the climate for Arab-American students as well, there are some ways that this population gets excluded in U.S. schools that are unique to them. How this exclusion manifests itself might not be readily observable to most teachers, unless they knew what to look for and had a sense for what was going on in the minds and hearts of these students.
If they did know what to look for, they’d see what Dr. Jaber found in her Ph.D. studies, a dynamic in our schools that ranges from outright discrimination of Arab-American students to a more subtle but equally powerful form of marginalization, one that causes students to hide parts of their identities in order to fit in, that makes them feel invisible and conspicuous at the same time, and that hides their failure to thrive, even when they look like they’re navigating school successfully.
Whether you teach in a school with only a few Arab students or a substantial Arab student population, there are things you can do to make things better for these students. This is the focus of my conversation with Dr. Jaber in this episode.
Before we start I’d like to thank Fearless Schools for sponsoring this episode. The stress level in schools is higher than ever and the need for psychological safety for students and staff members has never been greater. Fearless Schools, newly created by Douglas Reeves and Creative Leadership Solutions, provides an evidence-based approach to transform a fearful school environment into one of joy, confidence, and optimism. We don’t need new initiatives right now – we need fearless schools. Learn more at creativeleadership.net/fearless.
Support also comes from Applied Digital SKills, a program from Google consisting of interactive video lessons that teach practical digital skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow. And it’s completely free! There are tons of great lessons to choose from and students will walk away with valuable new skills like building a resume, developing a presentation, or creating a research plan. Popular lessons include using conditional formatting to create pixel art in Google Sheets, learning how to store, access, and share documents, presentations, and photos in Google Drive, and leveraging Google Slides to create an interactive If-Then Adventure story. You can easily integrate these lessons into your curriculum and they work well for remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Plus, Applied Digital Skills connects to Google Classroom so you can seamlessly import your roster and get started in just a few clicks. To check out these easy-to-use lessons today, visit cultofpedagogy.com/digital.
Now here’s my interview with Sawsan Jaber.
GONZALEZ: Sawsan, welcome to the podcast.
JABER: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
GONZALEZ: So we’ve got a lot to talk about today, and so rather than get into all the details first, I think the best place to start is for you to just share with me and my listeners a little bit about yourself, your background, and your work in education so we have some context.
JABER: Sure. So I am in, I think, Year 23 — I think you stop counting after 20 — in education, and I have worked in so many different places and positions throughout my career. I think I’ve had the privilege of working with just people from all around the world when it comes to education, living in Dubai and working on a team of 14 people from 14 different countries to write standards and do things, and it’s given me such a global perspective of education, just from everywhere. It’s a real privilege. Currently I’m a high school English teacher in Illinois, in Franklin Park, Illinois. I teach a primarily social justice American lit curriculum. It was one of the things that I really was heartfelt and really passionate about and believed that could be done. And I’m in a school that welcomes me and really embraces who I am and what I have to offer and is looking for teachers to do this kind of work, which is really awesome. So I commute, a long commute every single day, but I come here and it’s one of the few places that I feel like I can bring my whole self, which is rare. Because I think as a professional and as a student, when I reflect and look at my journey getting to where I am today, it was definitely one where at every point, whether I was a student or as a college student or as an early teacher, a young teacher — I started teaching when I was 19 — or in the public sector or the private sector, I always felt like I had to leave a big part of who I was at the school room door. I feel like that is what made me start thinking about how I can really impact students, to have critical conversations and be able to name and identify a lot of those experiences, microaggressions and navigate them at young ages in order for them to be able to really impact and see their power in being able to impact as young adults and as adults and American citizens, their context globally and locally. So that’s why I started Education Unfiltered Consulting, and it’s a big part of my external work outside of school. I’ve done projects with Google, with national boards, a lot of public schools and private schools, to have those critical conversations, both with staff and students and figure out how we can really start to do this work alongside students instead of doing for students and thinking that we can actually navigate that world without their presence and without them on our side and without them having a say so every step of the way.
GONZALEZ: Personally, the reason that you’re invested in all this work comes from your own personal family background.
JABER: Absolutely. I am a daughter of Palestinian refugees, and I think that by itself speaks so much. My intersectionality as an Arab, Palestinian, Muslim, hijabi — I cover my hair — female in America I think is such a complex one, and historically and currently more than ever. And it’s one that I see reflected in my daughters, and I think that always makes it more personal. Somehow you navigate your own world, and a lot of times, you navigate it with blindfolds because you just experience things and then you reflect back on them. They make more sense in hindsight. But when you’re living through your children, it’s really, it’s much harder to swallow and much harder to watch from a distance. So I think just as a Palestinian American, and somebody who, I always think back in my college years as an English major, I always wanted to find myself in literature but always found a very stereotypical self of me represented. It was always something that I felt, I always felt defensive about and never really was given the tools to have that conversation or navigate that conversation. When I graduated from college and I looked back, it wasn’t until my master’s degree when I started to read more about equity and what equity, equitable thinking from a teaching perspective looks like, that I started to name microaggressions and inequities in my own education. And then I worked in a school in the southwest suburbs of Illinois that was historically homogenous and that kind of reinforced everything that — I had just graduated with my master’s degree at the time, and it just reinforced everything that I was reading and learning in actuality in a school, because the school had 600 percent growth of Arab students, primarily of Palestinian community, and had done absolutely nothing to really change in order to meet the needs of those students. So as a response, even as a teacher there, I was the first brown teacher in the district, and I think when I went to institute day and I walked into the room, I just felt so out of place. It wasn’t a warm feeling at all. And then a few weeks after I had worked there, there was an ISIS bombing in France, and a teacher had walked into my classroom and asked me how I felt after what my people did in France. And I think that was the moment where I was starting my PhD, and I, I wanted to major in English because my dream was to teach college level English. And then I realized that I couldn’t really major in English, that I needed to major in curriculum and instruction and really think about how I can use my education and my lived experience as to impact curriculum on an institutional level. And so that was my change, and in that process, I really focused heavily on equity in curriculum and instruction, and then did my dissertation on the growing Arab American population in that district. And the things that I learned and found were just things that made me realize that a lot of our Arab American students don’t have anybody to really advocate for them, and so it became something that worked with and alongside my equity work for all kids in general is to really try to focus on being an advocate for our community and mobilizing our community at the same time to start advocating for themselves.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. And you contacted me a while ago, expressing just a frustration that so many of us who spend a lot of time talking about education and best practices and even getting a lot into equity issues seem to keep missing this population in particular and wanting to have more education for teachers on this. So our purpose today is first just make sure we’re clear on what is the population that we’re talking about, what is the problem that you’re seeing, and you and I have already had some conversations about this, and I’ve learned from you that the problem is visible stuff and invisible stuff.
GONZALEZ: And then we’re going to get into some specific things that teachers in schools with large and very small Arab American populations can do to make these students feel included and also to help these students advocate for themselves and develop a strong proud identity within the school system.
JABER: Yeah. I’m just going to add to that. It’s not just those students, but helping other students to see those things as well and helping all students to self-advocate, right?
JABER: And something that you and I had talked about previous is none of this really is specific to Arab American students. However, Arab American students are often missing from equity conversations.
JABER: So it’s necessary to highlight the specifics of this particular population of students, but at the same time to recognize the fact that doing this work in a classroom really benefits all students.
GONZALEZ: Yeah, yeah. So let’s start by doing that, but just identifying who are we specifically talking about? Because the question for me came up, which is are we talking about Muslim students? Are we talking about students from specific countries? It’s a little bit fuzzy, I think, for people who are not familiar or well versed or well read. So yeah, tell me who exactly are we talking about? We’re talking about Arab American students, correct?
JABER: Correct. And you’ll hear me saying Arab and Muslim students often because I think, like you mentioned, those lines are really blurred for many people. So the experiences of Arab students and Muslim students are often very, very similar in American public schools. So a lot of the, although there are two different populations and sometimes there’s intersections, like my own identity. I am an Arab Muslim. It’s not always the case. So Arab Americans are Arabs who come from 26 different Arab-speaking countries because Arabic is a language. And so when you identify as an Arab American, your lineage, your ancestry comes from one of those 26 countries. Arabs are not always Muslim. Muslim, Islam is a faith, so you have Arabs who follow all different types of faiths. If you look at Palestine, for example, there’s a huge religious Christian backing and a huge religious Christian population that is also considered Arab. But you can also be Muslim and be from anywhere because it’s a faith that you choose to follow, so you have Muslims from all over the world and in all colors and who come from all different backgrounds. So you can be an Arab Muslim. You don’t have to be an Arab Muslim. And those distinctions are definitely not clear in stereotypical single-story images. Oftentimes Muslims are speaking Arabic in movies and things like that, and so people have kind of come to just associate brown, hijab, all of these things with an Arab Muslim. And so even South Asian, the South Asian community oftentimes is kind of funneled into the Arab Muslim category and treated very much the same. So kids are facing very similar experiences. So there’s a lack of understanding into these different, I don’t want to say categories of people but identities, I think, and how they’ve played out.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. So part of identifying this group is a self-identification, and it sounds like it may also come from how others may identify or misidentify students. We talked yesterday about people from Afghanistan and how we often assume, some people often assume that that is also an Arabic country. And after we talked, I looked it up because I thought, yeah, I kind of think the same thing. So I looked it up, and I was like, oh yeah, that’s sort of part of Asia, right? It would be considered not, and so yeah, I think it’s this general section of the globe that there’s physical features and so people who are not from that part of the world a lot of times do just generalize. Like, for example, if we’re saying that people from Afghanistan are not included in the group that we’re talking about, however they may also be recipients of some of the same kinds of alienating, you know.
JABER: Right, right. And then you’ve got, so Afghanistan obviously is at the forefront, especially post-9/11 and with the war and everything else.
JABER: And so you think about Afghanistan as a Muslim country, not an Arab country. But even then, a lot of what we know about Afghanistan is extremist Islamic version but even that is kind of blanketed.
JABER: And all Muslims are put under the umbrella of we follow this extremist, rigid violent faith, and that’s not Islamic at all. And I think that speaks to a lot of different things. Kind of this monolithic version of Arabs and Muslims that’s been created through the media and through current events that have been distorted, and a lack of representation in curriculum.
JABER: So it’s really important if you’re teaching populations of Arab students or teaching about Arab students to consider the fact that the Arab countries are so different. And so that lends itself to different lived experiences that can’t be simplified into one novel, one poem, one experience, one movie. “Aladdin” definitely doesn’t represent anything. So I think that those are really important conversations. Oftentimes in schools as an English teacher, like I’m always looking in schools that have large Arab populations and how they think they’re being culturally responsive, and in many of those schools they’re teaching “The Kite Runner.” And “The Kite Runner ” is in, Khaled Hosseini is Afghanistani. So it’s not even anything that any of these kids, whether Arab or Muslim, can really relate to because it’s an extremist form of Islam, and I’m not taking away from his experience and his story, but it definitely is a unique experience and a unique story that many Muslims around the world can’t relate to. And no Arab can relate to because he’s not Arab. And so it’s really interesting to me to see these teachers that are so excited, because I think they’re doing, and that’s where the whole idea of we really need to have parents and communities sitting at the table. Because we’re immersing these kids in stereotypical images of themselves, and that is dangerous not only for those kids because especially at adolescent age. We know developmentally kids just want to fit in, right? They’re trying so hard to just be a part of this community that they’re a part of, and anything that is a marker, that makes them stand out, is not something that they want to be associated with. It’s interesting because in my dissertation, one of the things that I noted immediately is every student that I interviewed, when I asked them what their name was, they mispronounced their name, even though I spoke the same language. And even when I pronounced their names back at them correctly, one of the students said, it makes me so uncomfortable. And when I probed a little bit further into why it made her feel uncomfortable, she felt like it was making her feel more othered when I pronounced her name accurately, the way her parents pronounced it.
JABER: So she wanted me to purposely mispronounce her name. So I think that things like that, once we start to give up our name, and it’s such a big part of who we are and our identity, what comes next? Where do we as teachers in classrooms start to really recognize those things and address them and medicate them? Because that’s what we’re doing, right, we were treating it —
JABER: — in the ways that are going to make kids feel like they can really bring their cultural and linguistic pluralism into the classroom and wear those identities with pride. Other things that I noticed too is that a lot of Arab kids are hyper invisible when it comes to conversations on how to really meet the needs of specific groups of students, whether it’s academic, social and emotional, extracurricular, whatever way that we, schools are supposed to be meeting needs of students. We’re not having the conversation because Arab students aren’t identified on a census, so the only way to really know who our Arab students are, right, because they’re considered white, is to informally identify them, which takes some extra work. Have the kids self-identify is another way to do it. And I’ve seen even in spaces where it’s really not safe spaces, the kids are not even willing to self-identify as Arab to avoid having to answer questions or have conversations about that. So it really starts with creating the safe spaces and making kids feel like they can share these things, but how do we actually identify these students? Because they have this invisibility where it matters but they’re hyper visible when it comes to bullying, and not just by other students but by teachers as well. And so what it creates is this sense of duality where they have this double consciousness, a person that they are at school and a completely different person that they are at home.
JABER: And I think it was interesting when a couple of the students that I interviewed said, “I would never invite a non-Arab friend from school to my house.” And I said, “Why?” And they said, “Because of like, we have Arab things hanging on the wall and verses from the Quran and things like that, and I just feel like it would be really weird for them because they don’t understand that side of me.” So the complete disconnect of the home life and the school life, and there’s so much research that we all have at our hands to talk about how that lack of inclusion and belonging, and that lack of safety bringing your whole self into the classroom really hinders your learning as a student, and the long-term impact of that is almost detrimental, because you’ve got kids completely disassociating.
GONZALEZ: It sounds like a lot of what you’re saying now is already kind of establishing a piece of the problem which comes from just simple identification of students, not only teachers being aware of who is sitting in their classrooms and having a nuanced understanding of that, but then also students even feeling comfortable enough to claim those identities and feel comfortable embracing their whole selves. So let’s start to get into a little bit more of what you’ve seen in terms of through your own research and through even the news or in your community of what the climate is like currently for Arab American students in most U.S. schools.
JABER: So I think, I mean, I’m going to frame it, I’m going to frame this response with first, kind of a research-based understanding of what inclusion looks like in a classroom. And according to the research, there’s four markers that are visible when the student really feels included. I’m going to start with those, and then talk about how that’s even a limited response. So according to St. Amand, 2017, he said there’s four signs of positive relationships with other students, positive relationships with staff members, willingness to get involved, and a harmonization and adaptation.
JABER: I feel like that definition, when I found that definition, I was like yay, these are great markers that I can use to measure against. And when I’m observing these kids that are a part of my study, I can really just kind of look for these things and check them off. I think it was really a surprise to me as well, and this is where research is such a powerful tool, especially qualitative research because you get to talk to kids, and you know the why, not just the what. Observing these kids from the outside, you just, you think that these kids are doing well in school. Some of them are top tier, doing excellent, straight A’s, involved in extracurricular activities. They seem to have some type of social circle, whether it’s kids who look like them or kids who are different. So they’re, all of those things are there. They have great relationships with their teachers. Teachers aren’t complaining that these kids are difficult or unmanageable or any of those things for the most part. So they check all of these boxes.
JABER: But then, so I observed and interviewed. And then when I interviewed the kids, the things that they revealed were very, very contrary to what you would see on the outside. So I think the first thing that that says to me is that schools really need to look at data. I’m reading a book called “Street Data,” and it’s amazing because it’s really looking at data that’s not what we consider data from a traditional sense. We’re not looking at test scores. We’re not looking at tardies. We’re not looking at, but we’re looking at human lives, people, and we’re really trying to figure out why people act the way they do and why, how people actually feel. So it’s really humanizing education in ways that we’ve dehumanized it in the past, and really just having authentic real conversations.
GONZALEZ: They were two episodes ago on my podcast, Shane and Jamila were. And we’re actually working on a project right now to go deeper with specific schools, so I’m so glad you mention that because I was thinking about that yesterday when we were talking. I was like, this has a feel of Street Data to me, or a need for that.
JABER: I honestly have to say, and this is totally a plug for them, is that this was probably, and I’ve read so many books, but one of the best books I’ve ever read —
JABER: — and I think everybody who’s doing equity work really needs to read it because it has shifted and really inspired and shifted in so many ways. We’re doing a whole district retreat on it, and our leadership team is starting with it this year, and it’s going to be the focus of a lot of our professional development next year. And that’s how powerful this text is.
GONZALEZ: That’s great.
JABER: And I think if we’re really thinking equity beyond cookie cutter checkbox equity work, that book really is a great place to start for everybody.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. It’s deep work.
JABER: …and create and ensure understanding, yeah. And so I think of that when I think about what qualitative research really does in schools and how schools often define data in traditional senses and how much is missed in that traditional sense. I know that there’s like obviously mandates and things like ESSA and school report cards all push us more towards traditional data, and we don’t see the value of the street data, as they call it, or the human data. And that human data, when kids feel like they belong and they’re included, their gains are 25 percent higher by default. So I always think about also Gholdy Muhammad, who’s another, like, wow. And I think about how she talked about, it’s not an either-or but it’s an and, right?
JABER: You can automatically, once you’re doing this work and doing the fidelity as an institution and in classrooms, right, because it’s got to be — I often think about how also equity work is not, we always think about it sitting in curriculum in classrooms, but it really isn’t. It’s the whole school system that’s really working towards creating that safe environment. And when that happens, it’s such a powerful thing, right?
JABER: So when talking to these kids, I notice that their stories and their experiences show that they didn’t feel included at all. And they were very, some of them had a really hard time. It was interesting, because some of them had a really hard time naming and saying, “I don’t fit.” They were able to kind of talk about other people who they knew didn’t fit and give me examples of other people getting stereotyped and being mistreated and dealing with microaggressions. And then they would share their own stories that had mirrored, same situations, same stories, but they couldn’t name it as, “I don’t fit, and I feel like it has a lot to do with my identity,” until I asked them to look at the parallels between the story that they shared about their peers and their own stories. And it was mind-blowing for them too. And I think that’s where, when I look at that I always say, that’s the piece that was missing in my own education, right, because my parents were refugees. They didn’t grow up in America. They couldn’t have those conversations with me at home. My teachers did everything they could to erase my Arabic language, to assimilate me as much as they possibly could because they didn’t view me as an asset. And so growing up, I never had the opportunity to really name and recognize and understand and interrupt these things that happened to me too. So here are these kids, and it’s like 20 years later, 25 years later, having similar situations and it’s only become more aggressive. So I found that three kids, the kids, these students kind of fit into three main categories. And usually that was kind of their response to feeling like they don’t belong at all in this district. And so they either assimilated to fit in, and some of these kids were coming to school with a change of clothes in their backpack because their parents didn’t allow them to dress in ways that were not culturally acceptable — modest and covering certain parts of their bodies. And so they would come to school with clothes that their parents accepted, and then change once they got here. A lot of these students denied any identity marker, anything at all, whether it was their name or even bigger things like talking about Eid celebration or they would be fasting in Ramadan but sitting on the lunch table with everybody else, watching everybody else eat rather than sitting in designated areas for kids who are fasting because they didn’t want other kids to know that they were fasting.
JABER: So I had both, in my interviews with parents, both parents and students talked about major dissonance in the households because the parents and students didn’t see eye to eye about kids kind of feeling this pride, right? Because especially as like, I guess I’ll talk about my experience as a Palestinian, a daughter of Palestinian refugees, it becomes so much more important. I grew up in a very Palestinian home in Brooklyn. And so it was so important for my parents to really keep, ingrain and solidify our Palestinian identity so that we would never forget, and that we would be able to pass it down to our own children. So that’s a huge part of who I am, and I can’t imagine how for such a long time I walked into so many professional spaces even and felt like I couldn’t bring that piece of me into the space and really talk about it openly for a lot of different reasons. So I think that a lot of these kids were feeling the same thing, and I would imagine that if my parents knew my hesitation, it would really be something hurtful to them.
JABER: So doing, showing that side or that hesitation in very outward ways is something that was causing a lot of dissonance between parents. Things like kids not wanting to attend co-ed like school dances, and parents obviously, for Muslim kids, that’s not acceptable to be at a co-ed dance. Parents were fighting with their kids over things like that. There wasn’t alternatives for kids who couldn’t participate. It wasn’t ever even a conversation about having alternatives. So there’s a lot of that. And these kids were kids who were compromising their cultures and their values in order to assimilate. So that was the first group of kids. And I have to say that probably a good third of the students that were a part of my dissertation were a part of, fit into that category. And when we look into that in our community, a lot of Muhammads become Moody and again shed that whole attitude. So we see a lot of that, even in our cultural community spaces, at our mosques. When we get the youth together, there’s a lot of reinforcing, of owning your identity and knowing who you are but not a lot of support from any schools. The other group of students, the second group of students, immersed themselves in extracurricular activities and sports. And that was their coping mechanism. So whenever they were involved in these sports teams like basketball and baseball, and these teams saw each other for months at a time, almost every single day for practice and for games, they developed a camaraderie. But these kids were explicit and very, in sharing their experiences, were very intentional to only share with these other students what they had in common, which was the sport. And so one of the indicators and one of the questions I asked after the sport, the season was completed, did you continue with some of those relationships? And the answer was almost always no. So that shows kind of the lack of authenticity in a lot of these relationships and the lack of community.
JABER: It was only something that was based on a part of, these kids, how, what kind of a hobby that they had. And once they got deeper into identities and shared experiences, they had nothing in common, and so they couldn’t be friends. There was no understanding of that other piece. And then the third group of students are students who Banks called failed citizenship and says many Arab and Muslim communities kind of fall into that category. They kind of just siloed themselves in order to protect themselves.
JABER: And have come to, a lot of things I heard were like they’re never going to accept us, so I’m, and I’m not willing to compromise who I am. This was particular with my, the girls who wore their hijab —
JABER: — and were proud of their hijab and felt like they were being ostracized and kind of othered because of their hijab, primarily because it’s an outward kind of symbol of their faith. And so they felt like that was the main reason that they weren’t being accepted. It was interesting because I had a student who has blue eyes and blond hair, so looking at her you would never think she was Arab. She was Palestinian. And she obviously wasn’t covering when she was in elementary school, and then when she got to middle school, she started to wear her hijab, and she said, “All of my friends fell away. All of them.” She’s like, “I had to start back from square one, and I had no friends at all.” And she was in this district from kindergarten.
GONZALEZ: Oh, that’s heartbreaking.
JABER: Yeah. There was nothing that any of her teachers kind of noticed in her change of behavior. She was a top student, straight A’s, involved in several extracurricular activities, but she said, “I just focus on my schoolwork. I’m not here to make friends. The teachers don’t get me either, and there’s not a lot of effort to really get to know me. And if they do get to know me, it’s often me doing the teaching.” And that’s something that she really resented as well. She didn’t want to be anybody’s teacher.
JABER: She felt like it was not a role that she signed up for.
JABER: So these students are students that kind of just retreat, and they stay to themselves, and they are okay kind of just doing school and focusing on school. All three of those scenarios are obviously really unhealthy and go against what we believe to be best practice and kind of a healthy culture for students, whether it’s a classroom or an entire school.
GONZALEZ: I have a question about this. So we’ve got these three scenarios that you see all the time. Can you sort of dream up, what would it look like if a student was responding to their environment and expressing their identity in a healthy way? Like what would that sort of look like if you were observing them?
JABER: I mean, I would imagine that it would look the same for any student who comes from any type of marginalized background or even not necessarily a student who comes from a marginalized background. If I have a handful of white students in a primarily Black school, for example, what would it look like for those white students to feel like they belong in that environment as well? And I think it’s really important to identify those markers. Like, these are kids who are, teachers are building a healthy bridge between home and school. These are kids who if they have a first language, they’re embracing that first language in writing. These are kids who are, their school is very conscious and aware of creating what Rudine Sims Bishop calls mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. So intentionally in activities, in classrooms, in curriculum, they see themselves represented accurately. They see a representation of themselves in school, whether it’s administration or teachers, people who understand them and look like them that can be role models and safe spaces. They participate in classrooms sharing things about themselves in collaborative ways that we wouldn’t know otherwise, right? And they’re offering to do that. It’s not best practice to go to a student and say, “Hey, why don’t you tell us about Ramadan,” for example. But it’s great when you have a kid who’s writing an assignment and they’re willing to share about Ramadan, because it’s something that they decide is important enough for them to share, and they feel safe enough to share it.
JABER: So I think it’s healthy collaboration, but beyond doing school well, right? We always see healthy as hey, he’s getting good grades. He’s a part of an extracurricular activity, check. He’s healthy, but no. Especially, I think, post-COVID, more than any other time in education, we have learned that healthy on the outside definitely doesn’t mean healthy on the inside in any shape or form.
JABER: How are we really thinking about these students’ social, emotional needs? How does not fitting in really impact these students socially and emotionally? How does not being represented, how does your teacher not taking the time to pronounce your name accurately enough from kindergarten? Because I’m sure as a kindergarten student, you’re not thinking about changing your name at that point, but I guess with time, and having so many people mispronounce your name, you become conditioned to take on the mispronunciation as opposed to your own name.
GONZALEZ: Yeah, yeah.
JABER: It’s conditioning. So the importance of the K-20 kind of educational realm really doing this work and I think too, it’s about kids feeling that your teacher thinks that who you are is important enough for them to be doing the work to really immerse themselves in getting to know who you are.
JABER: And I think one of the biggest problems that we have as a country is the fact that we recognize a name, the fact that we have a demographic divide, and that many of our administrators and teachers do not look like our students. But even though we’re naming and recognizing that, we’re not treating it, right? And so the way to treat that is, and we already know. As much as we like to think that we’re not segregated, we are actually more segregated as a country than we were when we were officially segregated. And so naming that and knowing that many people only socialize outside of their work with people who look like them.
JABER: And so when you’re actually teaching and your positionality is one of power in a classroom, and you’re interacting with kids who don’t look like you, oftentimes what you’re armed with is a very stereotypical, single-story understanding of who they are.
JABER: In order to really dismantle that, whether it’s an Arab student or a Black student or a Latine student or any kind of student, means that you really need to immerse yourself in that culture. And I think anybody who immerses themself in the Arab culture will realize how beautiful and how rich and how diverse, and how much it has to offer. And that’s the side of the story that you almost never hear, right?
JABER: So I think those understandings, talking, if I’m teaching English, talking about Arab poets, there’s so many Arab poets that you can kind of bring into the classroom and highlight and have the kids feel that pride in their own language and in their own history, and then feel more comfortable sharing it because they feel like you value it as a teacher.
JABER: There’s Arab contributions in science. There’s Arab and Muslim contributions in history in America way before the violent representations in World War II and definitely before 9/11, right? Which is usually where Arab and Muslim history and current events starts and ends.
JABER: And so there’s so much more to who we are and our contributions as Americans in this country. And then we have the Muslim ban and all of these other things that have kind of happened as current events to create this huge fear factor, and this understanding and impression that you can’t be Arab and Muslim and be American at the same time.
JABER: It’s always like an either or. And so I think that makes people more hesitant about interacting in really authentic and real ways with communities.
JABER: And so all they have is these stereotypes. And even when they’re trying, well-intentioned equity work gone wrong is always inequitable.
JABER: If you’re trying to be equitable and you are talking to students and showing them more stereotypical representations of themselves, that’s more of a reason for students to kind of hold back and shut down, even if you’re well-intentioned and you’re trying to do good. It’s not good enough.
GONZALEZ: Right. I want to circle back to something you said a few minutes ago, because I hear this conversation a lot, and I think there’s big, big misconceptions, particularly among white teachers on what you were saying a little while ago, in terms of the segregation that is happening now, despite the fact that we don’t have legal segregation. And what I hear a lot of white people saying is, “They” fill in the blank “segregate themselves,” without an understanding of what that actually is, what’s actually going on there, that it is not a dislike or a desire to be separate. But it’s a comfort, and it’s also a reflection of the fact that the surrounding dominant culture has not embraced their culture in any real, authentic, organic, holistic way.
GONZALEZ: And so it’s not, there’s so much talk about reverse racism. But that’s a symptom of a culture that is not necessarily violent toward them or anything. You’re talking about much more subtle things that it’s really coming not from even necessarily a distrust or a dislike of this particular group, but it’s just an unwillingness or an inability to really dig in and get to know a particular group well in terms of what is their individual culture. Do you get what I’m getting at?
JABER: Yeah. I think that’s more like a book than it is even like another podcast episode. That segregation is totally systemic and very intentional. White flight is a real thing, wherever people come and move into neighborhoods. There’s urban planning that goes into ensuring that people are segregated. There’s taxes and socioeconomic disparities that make sure that people are segregated.
JABER: It’s a whole, it’s such a big, complex thing. But kind of on a very much, a much simplified, much more simplified kind of understanding, it’s like when teachers come and say, well, these parents, and I hate the term “these parents” or “they.” It’s like who are you talking about? And why are they the other? There’s this idea that a lot of parents of students of color aren’t engaged, and that’s what I’ve heard a lot about. “Well, the Arab parents, if they have a problem, why aren’t they telling us? Why are we hearing this information for the first time? And the kids aren’t saying anything, and their parents aren’t saying anything, so we can just kind of assume that everything is fine.” Even when there’s all calls for parent advisory committees, very few parents of color will often come to the table.
JABER: Even when there’s an all call, and that’s because you have not done a good enough job to make the kids who you interact with on a daily basis feel safe. So the parents definitely aren’t going to come running to the table either. It has to be intentional, and it has to be something that we are working on, and schools serve communities. When we’re talking about schools serving communities, that means that you are making a community a better place. And part of the way to do that is to offer parents the tools, classes, universities, workshops, and opportunities like translating things, offering things in the evenings so that parents who have jobs and have to work or have younger kids and can’t afford babysitting come to the table and participate in a lot of ways. And being intentional about if you’re not getting that representation, really interrogating your culture and your environment and asking why, and then really treating those why’s and medicating them. I always say it’s like medicine because you have an ailment, and you have to fix it.
GONZALEZ: Yes, yes.
JABER: So how do we fix this ailment and really bring those parents to the table in ways that they can actually contribute. Now we have this body of parents, have a focus session of alumni. Bring the kids who graduated from the school and their parents and ask them, what didn’t work for you? Let’s fix it. You have a resource. Kids are often, when they’re not a part of the system anymore, much more vocal about what didn’t work for them when they were a part of that system.
GONZALEZ: Right, yeah.
JABER: Leverage the community voice to really run a couple of focus sessions with different groups, the kids who were academically doing well and the kids who didn’t do so well academically, the kids who were in the dean’s office every week or every day. Talk to them and ask them what motivated them to act the way they did during school. Nobody wants to be a failure.
JABER: No child wants to always be in trouble or feel like they’re not successful. They’re in school more than they are at home, for the most part. And so naturally they want to be successful. I always say, I don’t think I’ve ever sent a student to the dean’s office, and part of that to me is — and I know a lot of teachers are going to hate me for saying this — but we are not seeing kids if they are acting up in class. There’s something that we’re not doing. They’re calling out for help, and we’re not hearing them.
JABER: And so as a teacher who really goes out of your, out of her, way to really get to know students, it’s all the kids in the classroom, your best student and the student who everybody has labeled as the kid you don’t want in your classroom. You’re getting to know them, and you’re getting to know the why. I have never met a student who was considered a difficult student who doesn’t have a million reasons to act the way he or she is acting in a classroom.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. Absolutely.
JABER: There are people who are coming in carrying so much already. I say that again today more than ever, after COVID.
JABER: With everything else these kids have experienced, there’s a collective trauma worldwide with kids that we have to acknowledge, and we have to take into consideration when we are working with students and when we are dealing with them. To me, academics is not at the forefront. It’s making sure that my students feel safe, they feel loved, they feel seen. And you know what? My academic, my ability to do academics in my classroom has skyrocketed more than ever before because with that strong foundation of love and support and inclusion, we are able to then push our boundaries as learners in ways that we were never able to do so before. So that intentionality is such an important one.
JABER: And I think oftentimes it’s that really understanding the community and immersing ourselves in the community for us to really understand why the community doesn’t feel safe enough to come into a school and really be a part of it in any form.
GONZALEZ: Let’s get into some of those specifics. You’ve talked about a couple of things. You mentioned focus groups. So let’s really dig into things that individual teachers or whole school systems could be doing, specific actions they can take to start to reverse the stuff you’re describing.
JABER: Yeah. So I think that the biggest thing is that any student, so I teach in a school where I think we have 10 Muslim students in a body of like, 10 Muslim Arab students in a body. We have 10 Arab students, I’m sorry, and a lot of European Muslim students from Bosnia, but we have 10 Arab students, Arab Muslim students, in a district of like 3,000-plus students in our school. And so these kids feel so invisible.
JABER: It’s 80 percent Latine community, and so we do a lot of work about, a lot of work trying to include and be responsive to the majority of our population and Black students, Filipino students, Arab students really feel like lost within that work. So first, recognizing that a lot of our students that are not Black live in this third space when it comes to equity work. And so we need to really be intentional about meeting their needs in addition to, and even if we have those 10 kids, I know that they’re not a majority, but they’re still students in our school, and they deserve to feel included. So whether it’s one student, 10 students or even if you have no Arab students, having these conversations is really important. Because eventually these are kids who are going to move out into the real world and they’re going to interact with all different types of people. They’re going to be decision-making bodies. They’re going to be in political positions. They’re going to be doctors who are going to have Arab patients. They’re going to have interactions with people who are not necessarily in a school with people who might be from this background and other backgrounds. And so one of the things that we have to do for all students is really arm them with the tools to be able to recognize, interrogate, appreciate people from other backgrounds, whatever that looks like.
JABER: And it can be anybody. It’s really important for them. It’s not like we’re teaching you about X-group, but we’re teaching you how to interact with all people, how to appreciate all people, how to recognize the humanity in everybody but also celebrate the differences that we have in specific groups, because it’s important. That’s a part of my identity.
JABER: So I think that’s a really important thing to acknowledge. Advocate for your students within your locus of control. Sometimes, and I’ve worked in those school systems that are not ready to do the work systemically. But as a teacher in a classroom, you have a position, positionality of power in that space and a dominance in that space that you can use to really cater to your students and their needs. And there’s a lot of ways that you can do that. I always talk about the first two weeks of school, for example. I think for people who graduated decades ago like I did with your teacher education, a lot of what we learned was your first two weeks of school are really, you’re establishing protocols, you’re “establishing the Wongs,” right? And that’s the most important thing. We learned don’t smile until December, right?
JABER: Like, all of that craziness. No, the first two weeks of school is for you to really establish that love and that care, and authentically seeing your students. Our first two weeks of school in my classroom, regardless of the demographics of the school, whether I worked in Dubai or working in New York or working in America, in Illinois, we always start with really interrogating positionality, sharing how we identify, sharing real stories of who we are that really impact who we are, like childhood stories of, here are some things that happened to me that really shape how I view the world. I ask the students how do you see yourself? How does the world see you? And how do those things impact how you view and see the world? It’s really important for my primarily Latine community in the school that I’m teaching to understand that the safety that exists in a community where there’s a lot of people who look like you may not necessarily be there in a community where it’s more diverse. And so part of my job preparing them for the real world and not just getting them through high school is to teach them those realities. So that’s something that we really need to be thinking about also. And using our locus of control and ways to spend time to authentically know, and by authentically knowing, you’re creating windows. So when Sawsan is in a classroom sharing her personal experiences and her lived experiences growing up as a daughter of refugees, and the complexities of the intersections of who she is, I am teaching somebody who has never heard about Palestine or Palestinians or refugees or understood refugee experiences by counter-storytelling. And that’s a big fear, because counter-storytelling is such, telling your story period, and not having somebody else tell your story the way they see it, can change minds and hearts by itself.
JABER: Because you’re validating your lived experience. And if enough of us are doing it, we’re showing the diversity of lived experiences with people who identify the same way I do.
GONZALEZ: Okay. I think I know how you’re going to answer this, but I want to ask it anyway. What is the difference between asking for these counter stories and asking a student to be your teacher about their culture?
JABER: So when you’re teaching in a way that invites students to tell their stories, it’s a safe space and all the students in the class are doing it, and they’re all learning from each other. It’s collaborative learning, and collaborative learning has shown greater gains than any other type of teaching. And every student is volunteering the information that they feel they are comfortable to volunteer willingly. You’re not putting them on the spot. If I want to, if I’m not comfortable talking about my story as a Palestinian refugee, I might just share my story as a sister. And that’s something that I can kind of, that’s where I’m at in my journey because kids are in different places. You might have kids who are so willing to talk about their identities while other kids are sitting in other spaces. It’s like the child who has come to the understanding that I’m never going to fit my share more openly about their identity because they’re not trying to fit into anything. They’ve already come to the realization that, “I’m never going to fit, so I’m just going to be.” Versus the child who’s trying to assimilate might share nothing. So hopefully with time, I have students at the beginning of the year who don’t want to participate in getting deep and being personal.
JABER: But over a period of a couple of weeks or sometimes a few months, I almost have like 100 percent of students, if they’re not willing to share out loud, they’re sharing in their journals, and we journal every day. And so that’s a really, as long as they’re sharing it with me, I’m getting to know them and I’m also a lot more aware of things that I need, decisions that I need to make as an educator in order to meet that student’s specific needs —
JABER: — in order to make sure that that student is seeing accurate windows of him or herself. So we curate lists through students. Like, hey, what’s your favorite song? And it doesn’t have to be in English. And I play music as my students are walking into the door every single day, and it’s from everywhere. They make the list as long as it’s appropriate. What is your favorite poem? And it can be something that’s not, again, in English. We can learn some different words. Write a poem and use your native tongue in that poem and share, and then teach us a couple of words. We’ll learn different languages and appreciate them and listen to language that’s being pronounced authentically and the beauty of how that transforms literature and really creates voice in writing. So there’s a lot of that. I think just you being intentional about doing things like that, the kids are like, wow. She really is trying to represent me accurately. She really cares about who I am. She really wants to know who I am, so I’m willing to share with all the students, but again, you’re creating mirrors for that particular student, windows for other kids to learn.
JABER: And dismantle those single stories that they may have grown up with.
JABER: I had a student walk into my seventh-grade classroom in the last district and he said, “Hey, Miss J. I just want to tell you something. My dad says you’re a terrorist.” As a teacher, you can react to them in a million ways. A lot of teachers would have sent that kid to the dean’s office and said, “You deal with it. Here’s a referral. Go to the dean’s office.” I said, “Okay, let’s talk about it.”
GONZALEZ: That sounds like an invitation to a conversation.
GONZALEZ: Yeah, yeah.
JABER: And the reality is that I was 100 percent sure that he called out the elephant in the room. He was able to say things that a lot of the other kids were thinking but probably didn’t say out loud.
JABER: And so I definitely, I stopped teaching for two days, and I said, we had a lot of conversation. We came to the conclusion that we fear what we don’t understand. And so with that understanding, what do you want to know about me? Ask me anything? And so we started asking those questions, but just by me being present in that space and showing them that I love them, and I care for them, made him feel comfortable to come and say, “I’m a little confused because my dad says you’re this, and I don’t feel like you’re this person in the classroom.”
JABER: And so there’s this disconnect that I need to have a conversation with. It transformed the culture of my whole entire classroom.
GONZALEZ: Yeah. And you don’t get that without a relationship and without trust.
JABER: Absolutely. Absolutely. So it’s really important, and I think that a lot of us, I don’t think anybody gets into the field of education, wakes up in the morning and says, “I’m going to school to harm kids today.” None of us do that.
JABER: Everybody who’s in education I think is well-intentioned. I think that we are all growing up in systems that are reinforcing single-story stereotypes. There’s so much that’s purposely kept out of the history books that we have to be intentional about finding and teaching. And part of that is if you think you’re an equitable teacher, and there’s so many people doing wonderful equity work out there, you can’t be an equitable teacher if you’re leaving certain groups of students out. In order to be equitable, you have to be thinking about every student that’s sitting in front of you, every student that’s a part of your community, depending on your locus of control and really being able to give them, again, the opportunity to interrogate the world and the realities and really own who they are so that they’re able to see their ability and their power in being able to impact decisions and the things. Because at the end of the day, I always tell my students, we’re all going to get old, as teachers, and you’re going to take over. And so we really have to have the faith that our kids are going to change what I call a very broken world and a very broken country and make it better if we continue to have these conversations in classrooms.
GONZALEZ: Right. So tell me a couple of other things. What other things can teachers in schools be doing?
JABER: I think one of the biggest things, again, acknowledging the fact that our history books, our textbooks don’t really have a culturally responsive or an accurate representation of many of the groups that we teach. We need to think about, we have to end curriculum violence where we are constantly immersing kids in stereotypical images of themselves and really look for resources that are more accurate and have your — again, so that we don’t make the mistake of doing for students and then it’s not the right thing to do. Involve parents in curating. Involve students in curating. Involve all your students so that not one group of students feels like they’re being targeted. Involve all your students. Have them bring their favorite poem, and then it becomes a list of poems you pull from. Have them bring their favorite novel, and it becomes a list, and invite them to bring something that really represents who they are, and that way you have. And you’ll be surprised at how much kids will bring to the table. I think it’s really important to be intentional about bridging the identity, the school identity and the home identity. For school leaders, really having ethnic studies classes in schools that are for teaching students to embrace who they are and love themselves and love their ethnic backgrounds, and also teaching other students, again the windows, about those ethnic backgrounds. My kids go to a school where there’s like 38 percent Arab students, and a lot of those students attend Saturday or Sunday school to learn Arabic. And so offer Arabic as a second language for kids instead of Spanish and French and German. They’re going to school to learn that language anyway. My daughter resents having to learn a third language. Language isn’t her thing. She struggles with it, and she has to learn Arabic so she’s able to really read the Quran. So it’s a must, but there’s enough kids in that school for them to be teaching kids or offering Arabic as an option, a course option.
JABER: So I think things like when we think about curriculum representation, just to go back to that a little bit, thinking about 9/11. We always have, the students that we’re teaching today are kids that weren’t even around for 9/11.
JABER: And so when we think about that, and we think about how 9/11 is always represented as a religious war, it automatically, like I heard stories of kids having to apologize for things that they have nothing to do with just because of their identities in classrooms. And I’ve actually heard recordings of that because when elearning happened, parents were sitting in classrooms with kids listening. And for the first time, the depth of this problem and the commonality of these things, experiences happening to students in classrooms became so prevalent within the community because here are parents sitting at home listening to their teachers talking to their kids. We started an organization called Arab American Educators Network with the purpose of really mobilizing the community from within and reaching out to districts to do the work of helping to meet the needs of Arab American students from other teachers, so from a professional organization. The videos and screenshots of things that were being sent to us from communities all over the country were just mind-blowing. The fact that these kids are having these experiences. So really taking the time, I worked with Penn State University to create a 9/11 curriculum, and that’s online. If you Google 9/11 and Penn State University, there’s a really rich curriculum there that teachers can either use their modules. You can pull from them; you can use the resources in there that are all wonderful. So I think that’s a great place to start. And then I think it’s really important, and I have to say this as a Palestinian too is that one of the things that I really noticed in my research is that out of all Arab students, the Palestinian students were the ones to completely disconnect from their culture because they are considered by default anti-Semitic and anti-American by claiming their Palestinian identity. And one of the biggest traumas for Palestinian students who live generational trauma through their parents’ experiences already is the idea that I can’t claim this part of myself. When I look at the map, I don’t see that part of myself. When I’m reading books in global studies classes or in literature classes, I’m always being portrayed as a terrorist, or I’m always being portrayed as somebody who cannot coexist with other people. And so I think really if nothing else, I’m not going to get into the complexities of Palestine and Israel and tell anybody what they should think about that in general, but I really think it’s important because I know we’re not there yet as a country to represent one or the other, or to represent, at least represent both. At least bring in the Palestinian perspective. Validate your students’ identities. Let them see themselves and their experiences and their histories represented accurately as well in what you’re teaching in the classroom. So I think that’s really important. Creating those opportunities for students to counter-story tell and build civic engagement so they have the opportunity to build that leadership ability and break the cycle of not being democratic, not being able to self-advocate. And maybe these children will be the ones to advocate for their children and really attend board meetings and talk to elected officials to start changing things on a larger and more systemic scale. And I think on the note of representation logistics and professional development, really informally identifying your Arab students is a great place to start. Know who they are so we can start to talk about what do they need? We have to know who they are first.
JABER: Seeing representation of themselves, just like any other group of students benefits from seeing Arab teachers and administrators in districts where there is a number of Arab students. That by itself is so powerful. Bringing the community in. Figuring out what they need to feel safe enough to come to the table and be a part of spaces where parents have input and even maybe create space where we can bring that input in because it’s so important for all groups of students that are represented in our districts. And like we said earlier, creating focus sessions with alumni, really getting that information, that street data, right from the community that’s there to give it to us and creating these kind of reciprocal community workflow like where we feed back into the community and really support the community with the community it also feeds into the school because we all have a shared interest. And that’s making sure that our children are really getting the best of what we have to offer collaborating because it does take a village to raise a child. We can’t do it by ourselves. Parents need our help too, and so when we’re all on the same page and really working towards that shared goal, it just makes the work that we’re doing so much better and so much more impactful for these kids.
GONZALEZ: So first of all I just want to thank you for bringing all of this. And I know that we’ve had a lot of conversations, and we probably could, you’re right, these are books that we could continue to have conversations about. But before we wrap this up, is there any sort of final message that you want to share with the people listening about this topic?
JABER: Yeah, I think if you’re going to take anything from this at all, it’s like, I guess teachers sometimes don’t, don’t acknowledge or name the power and the impact that they have on shaping students’ lives. I know I became a teacher, like many of us did, just because I had such an amazing teacher. And I think oftentimes, I remember when I wanted to be a teacher, like my mom heard and she just cried her eyes out because she felt like it’s not something that takes a lot of skill. And then over the years as she’s been able to see kind of the impact and the connection that I have with students who I taught my first year and my second year who invited me to their weddings, yes, I’m that old. And I met their children, and they still feel like I’m an important enough person for me to be in their lives. We have so much that we can really impact and shape for these kids. Sometimes there’s kids who the only reason they come to school is because they need to see you.
JABER: Sometimes you’re the hope that they, some of these kids have in a world that just feels so hopeless. And so I think if teachers take nothing else from this, it is hard work. We’re always kind of not appreciated at the level that the work entails.
JABER: But at the end of the day, I always say, the appreciation is the kids. It’s seeing the lightbulb. It’s seeing the smile that you bring to their faces and recognizing the fact that, sometimes we focus so much on policy and voting and all of these different things, and I really see that power is in our classrooms to disrupt and change, because you’re shaping the future in every possible way. I always say, policy will not impact the status quo. Education will. Because you’re shaping these learned critical thinkers who are conscious and aware of realities that have been hidden and kept and erased for a lot of different reasons, and they’re able to now go out and not only improve their own lives but create the safer culture and community, because it’s not something that’s built on hate or power struggle. It’s something where we all value and see each other, and that’s a safer community in our classrooms. It’s a safer community outside of our classrooms when we can really start to dismantle the systems that have kept us where we are for such a long, long time. And so you have the power, and I think it’s so important for the teachers to recognize, name, and understand that power that can be either something that they use or something that they can definitely abuse. And I’ve seen it go both ways. And so I think yeah, that’s where I think I want to end with really naming that and having teachers understand how they can just shape and impact these kids forever.
JABER: And so take that power and do something great with it.
GONZALEZ: Tell us quickly where people can go to find you online.
JABER: So I’m a big advocate. If you’re not on Twitter, you definitely need to get on Twitter because I do so much learning on Twitter and I think that’s probably where I’m most active. There is a website coming soon. I’ll share it on Twitter once it’s ready. So Twitter for sure @SJEducate is the best and most active, where I’m most active right now. That’s probably where you’ll find me responding the quickest.
GONZALEZ: Okay, great. Thank you so, so much for all of the time that you’ve given to this. I really appreciate it.
JABER: Thank you.
For links to the resources mentioned here and a transcript of this interview, visit cultofpedagogy.com, click Podcast, and choose episode 185. To get a bimonthly email from me about my newest blog posts, podcast episodes, courses and products, sign up for my mailing list at cultofpedagogy.com/subscribe. Thanks so much for listening, and have a great day.