Of Mice and Marginalization

We “soft-launched” our fall issue on our website over the weekend.  Perhaps you already checked it out, or if you’re a subscriber, you have the magazine in hand already.  If you haven’t seen it, here are a few highlights.

We are proud of this issue, and we hope you enjoy reading it!

v28.1Of Mice and Marginalization,” by English teacher Michelle Kenney, is the cover story. Under pressure from parents, Kenney assigns a classic: Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Her students’ reactions—from cutting class to lifting essays off the internet—lead to a deeper understanding of what’s wrong with “the canon.”

In “Standing Up for Tocarra,” Tina Owen describes her dilemma when a homophobic minister preaches about the “sin” of a transgender student at the student’s funeral.

Our curriculum editor Bill Bigelow uses a classroom mixer to introduce students to Bill McKibben’s important article on “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” Check out “The Mystery of the 3 Scary Numbers.”

In “Rethinking Shit: Excrement and Equity,” social studies teacher Noah Zeichner and his students explore the worldwide sanitation crisis.

Charter Schools and the Future of Public Education,” by Rethinking Schools editor Stan Karp, puts the history of charter schools in context, then analyzes their current role and impact.

Our editorial is on school closings, “Clear-Cutting Our Schools

Let us know in the comments what you think, and which article(s) you like best or plan to use.

If you don’t subscribe to our magazine

We’re happy to make a number of articles from every issue of our magazine free for nonsubscribers. But subscriptions (and donations) sustain our work. So if you like what you’re reading, go ahead and do us both a favor: subscribe now for just $19.95. With your new subscription, you’ll gain access to the entire fall issue and to our archives.

Thanks for your support!

‘Queer Matters’ and other LGBTQ resources

June is Gay and Lesbian Pride month.

At Rethinking Schools, we’ve been writing about gender and sexuality for a long time, including issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

We’re pleased to highlight these articles that have graced the pages of our magazine over the years. We hope you find wisdom, insight, and of course great teaching ideas from these pieces.

We are also hard at work on a new book about gender and sexuality. Look for more information and discounts later this year!

These articles are available free to all friends of Rethinking Schools:

SokolowerStreeterCreative Conflict: Collaborative Playwriting, by Kathleen Melville
A high school drama teacher searches for ways to encourage students to write about their lives without replicating stereotypes.

‘My Teacher Is a Lesbian:’ Coming Out at School, by Jody Sokolower
Adventures of an “out” teacher and some suggestions for deciding if and how to come out to your students.

Heather’s Moms Got Married, by Mary Cowhey
Second graders talk about gay marriage.

And look for “Rethinking the Day of Silence,” by Adriana Murphy in our summer issue, due out in mid-June!

These articles are available to our friends who are also subscribers

Queer Matters, by William DeJean and Anne René Elsebree
Educating educators about Homophobia

It’s OK to Be Neither: Teaching That Supports Gender-Variant Children, by Melissa Bollow Tempel
The everyday experiences of a 1st grader push a teacher to confront gender issues in the classroom.

A Journey to Openness, by Daniel P. Ryan
An elementary principal tells of his journey to being an openly gay administrator.

Fed Up with Gay-Bashing
An 11-year-old student takes a stand against homophobic slurs

Call for Submissions: Attention Educators, Students, Activists

Seeking Narratives for a new book by Rethinking Schools

Working Title: Rethinking Sexism, Gender, and Sexuality

We invite you to submit a story that relates to teaching and learning about sexism, gender, and sexuality in K-12 schools. We are particularly interested in articles about classroom teaching, curriculum, and youth activism—in and out of school. Students’ voices are important; make sure we can hear them! In order to include diverse voices, we particularly encourage students and educators of color and folks who work in places that are not often associated with LGBTQ activism such as rural schools and schools in the “heartland,” although other submissions will be cheerfully considered. We hope to address gender and sexuality across the curriculum so teachers and students of all disciplines are encouraged to contribute. Other topics may include education organizing/activism, policy matters, and stories that offer historical perspectives with a connection to the present.

Please remember that Rethinking Schools is not an academic journal. We want the writing to be lively, conversational, and to avoid the kind of needless jargon that infects so much education writing. Please approach it as a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, filled with anecdotes and the voices of teachers, parents, and/or students. Traditional academic/scholarly articles will not be considered for this book.

The best way to understand what works for Rethinking Schools is to read through several issues of the magazine with an eye to how the authors show specifically what they do in the classroom and how they integrate information about the topic into the article. Specific examples you might want to look at include “It’s OK to Be Neither” by Melissa Bollow Tempel and  “When the Gender Boxes Don’t Fit,” by Ericka Sokolower-Shain. As a model of writing for the magazine, see anything by Linda Christensen.

Before you begin writing, check out the writers guidelines.

Please send submissions electronically (Word.doc). We are unable to read submissions of more than 4,000 words, and are generally interested in articles that are substantially shorter.

Many of the articles in the book will also appear in Rethinking Schools magazine. The initial submission deadline is January 31, 2013.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact Jody Sokolower, managing editor of Rethinking Schools: jody@rethinkingschools.org.