Minnesota Elementary school teacher Suzette Fuerst took notice of a recent article co-written by The Learning Center for the Deaf’s Kristie Medeiros, MEd. Medeiros, a Therapeutic Mentor with Walden Community Services, helped to author Deaf BIPOC: Unpacking the Needs in the Community, which appeared in a newsletter for ADARA members.
Fuerst taught second and third graders for the 2020 Extended School Year this past July. Her class included five deaf students, including two who were deaf-blind.
“I developed my lesson plans by incorporating all seven continents with culture, language, and geography. I reserved one day of lesson plans to focus on Black Lives Matters, because it applies to the current events and I wanted to be sure my students understand the importance of this movement and meanings for all Black people,” Fuerst described in an email.
The class focused on equity and the principles that helped the students understand that everyone needs to be treated fairly regardless of the color of their skin.
After the class, Fuerst invited Medeiros via Zoom to participate in a discussion about diversity. Medeiros read the book “Black Is a Rainbow Color” by Angela Joy. Then, she participated in two activities which helped further demonstrate the concept of diversity.
In one activity, students painted eggs as colorful and creative as they wanted without cracking them, and then discussed whether they thought the eggs would look different on the inside. The students decided all the eggs would look the same.
Medeiros explained the activities helped the students “understand the concept that we are all the same human beings, and that we should show our same beautiful hearts. We all are equal,” she shared in an email.
Fuerst shared that her students really enjoyed their time learning from Kristie. She wrote: “I truly appreciate Kristie’s time and willingness to teach my students to understand and appreciate the value of diversity in people.”