This is the seventh monthly digest. For those new to Liberating Narratives, I send a general update at the end of each month. Because the last day of March was also a Friday, I’m sending this digest a day late. Sorry.
This month features some updates about my travels in Southeast Asia and South Korea, a story about my visit to Fatehpur Sikri - the Mughal Emperor’s capital, and lots of photos.
During March, I celebrated six months of Liberating Narratives as a newsletter. (I started it as a blog back in January 2016.) I published “‘If there were no buyers there would be no sellers’: Teaching the Transatlantic Slave System, c.1450 - c.1850” on September 15. For a little over six months now, I have been publishing posts every week, plus the occasional bonus posts, the end-of-the-month digests, and lessons. I love setting aside the time every day to think about how to teach topics in world history in a more inclusive manner that centers non-western voices. When I look over so many textbooks and other websites, I’m shocked by how often the Western perspective is the default one.
I also appreciate the regular ritual of writing. During the past month, I published eight posts. I find it a little easier to sit down and write each week. This has been a helpful challenge because it got me to think like the students I spent the last twenty-three years teaching. At Friends Seminary, students regularly wrote essays for English classes, lab reports for science classes, various types of writing assignments for World language classes, and history essays. Sometimes we stress over the wording or finding the perfect example, but the key is simply putting the words on the screen. I’ve accepted that I will make mistakes in my final drafts, but the writing process is about ongoing learning. Too often, students and teachers lose sight of learning as a process and get focused on outcomes. It’s a good reminder that we want to find ways to help students and teachers focus on the process more and less on the big end-of-term assessments.