About the Days of Significance Calendar
In building a culture of appreciation and inclusion, where students see themselves valued, respected and celebrated, we need to begin with knowing their stories. When we know the cultures, lived experiences and community/cultural/faith traditions of students, we are able to center and relate to them and understand the systems that support their identities.
The cultivation calls for reaching back into students' histories and deeply knowing them and their ancestries to teach in ways that raise, grow, and develop their existing genius. - Dr. Gholdy Muhammad
This calendar has been created to give educators the culturally-relevant tools to embrace the whole student and cultivate young minds to embrace their genius, appreciate our differences and disrupt oppression so we all can live harmoniously.
The intent of the Days of Significance Calendar is to:
support the planning of school events to honour the days of significance that students in your building observe. This calendar highlights religious, secular and creed-based observances and holidays, significant events and celebrations, public holidays and other important dates.
- promote culturally responsive teaching through linked literature and lessons surrounding the days of significance and celebratory recognition months that reflects the lived experiences and identities of students.
- nurture an inclusive learning environment that promotes and celebrates the identities of students.
- promote social justice learning through carefully selected monthly themes to deepen our understanding through an anti-bias, anti-racism and anti-oppression lens.
An additional feature to the calendar are suggested book titles to tie in with the equity themes and significant days for each month. To increase our equity consciousness, it is important to be active participants in the process of selecting texts that meet the needs and identities of students within classrooms. Although recommendations have been given, when selecting appropriate texts, teachers should consider where students are in their understanding of the themes of the texts and the impact of the content on racialized and marginalized groups. The more informed we are on the topics, the more comfortable educators will be in navigating courageous conversations around the topics and student questions.
As we learn about and incorporate the days of significance into our teachings, we want to consider not only how we are honouring the identities of students but also think about how we honour them all year round. As we raise our equity consciousness and learn to examine our practices to bring impactful change into our spaces, we need to consider how we move past the heroes and holidays approach that places non-dominant groups in silos outside the curriculum. It is still important to honour those communities that have asked for their heritage to be recognized but also consider how we can widen our scope of those communities and include the examination of the larger systems that impact the lived experiences of an entire community.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. - Maya Angelou