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Staff Book Recommendations: Dannele Ferreras

Dannele Ferreras

November is National Literacy Month! To celebrate, we asked our staff to recommend their favorite equity books. Here’s what they said…

by Dannele Ferreras
Data and Evaluation Specialist, MAEC

I would like to share two books with you today: Teaching with Poverty in Mind by Eric Jensen and All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson.

I first read Teaching with Poverty in Mind during my undergraduate educational psychology class. This book discusses the impact poverty has on how children learn and behave in the classroom. Written for educators, Jensen highlights strategies that teachers and administrators can use to better serve students who live in poverty, providing both classroom-level and schoolwide success factors from a growth mindset perspective. I think the format of the book is very accessible; I still refer back to it even though it was published over a decade ago (2009). Jensen has written other books including Teaching with the Brain in Mind and Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind.

The second book I want to share is a memoir-manifesto, published in 2020: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. I first heard about this book when the author gave a virtual talk in Prince George’s County. Detailing his experiences growing up as both a Black person and a queer person, Johnson writes about the coexistence of those two identities and the need to sometimes oscillate between his Blackness and his queerness in different environments. Each chapter explores different aspects of Johnson’s life: friendships, life at school, relationships with his family, and coming into and finding oneself. While it is geared towards young adults, I believe All Boys Aren’t Blue is a book all adults, regardless of age, should read.

Next on my reading list is a book called Elevating Equity and Justice: 10 U.S. Supreme Court Cases Every Teacher Should Know by Robert Kim. I picked up a copy from my local library and it’s received several positive reviews. I look forward to reading it later this month.

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The MAEC blog is designed to engage hearts and minds of school and district leaders across the country to engage in issues that you have identified as being essential in education. Opinions do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

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