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Despite that it was a mild summer day outside today (I found this out when I left the office for lunch), I spent the morning with four of my fabulous colleagues (brilliant coaches every one of them) huddled around a white board designing a new program for instructional coaches related to building teacher capacity for cultural competence as part of our Teaching with a Cultural Eye series.

This year we did a lot of coaching and professional development with principals and teacher leaders around this theme of “teaching with a cultural eye”. So, now while schools are on hiatus, we were taking a step back to think about what was still missing from the general repertoire of instructional coaches charged with supporting teachers to become more culturally responsive in the classroom.

We had a good, generative session, thinking way out of the box. At the end of our session, there were questions we kept coming back to that I wanted to ask you:

  • What does a teacher need to know in order to consider himself or herself “culturally competent”?
  • What social and emotional support do teachers need to build their muscle in this area?
  • How have you built this capacity for yourself?

Over the next month, I am going to launch a series of posts aimed at demystifying cultural responsive teaching and learning, which is at the heart of getting urban students ready for rigor. Watch for it beginning next Tuesday.

In the meantime, leave your thoughts about the questions above or tell me what your own burning questions are related to getting kids ready for rigor.