The Brave Educator : Honest Conversations about Navigating Race in the Classroom book cover
1st Edition

The Brave Educator
Honest Conversations about Navigating Race in the Classroom

ISBN 9780429424014
Published July 30, 2019 by Routledge
164 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Brave Educator equips you with accessible and refreshingly useful tools for real conversations about race that prepare students for the world beyond the school walls. More than a toolkit, this book is a personal conversation exploring the journey from being stuck in the belief that we should already know how to lead conversations about race to learning how to actually have the conversation. It’s companionship for educators, leaders, and teachers facing overwhelming daily responsibilities and searching for open-hearted support. Inside you’ll find a flexible road map to help carve a path through difficult conversations in your classroom, plus question prompts, resource lists, and crucial tips to help you avoid common pitfalls. The grounded perspective and real-world examples in these pages will help you feel less alone as you move from tentative to prepared.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Let's Start With Not Knowing Where to Start

Section I: Two Tips to Give You a Solid Start

Solid Start Tip 1: Let’s Try Listening to Each Other

Solid Start Tip 2: Let’s Make Room for Discovery

Section II: Your Flexible Four-Step Road Map

Step 1: Three Words to Help Keep Student Learning at the Center

Step 2: How to Decide What Really Matters in Your Classroom

Step 3: Create Boundaries that Support You and Your Students in the Classroom

Step 4: We All Have This. Pay Attention To Yours

Section III: Seven Connection Strategies to Help you Navigate Classroom Conversations About Race

Connection Strategy 1: A Quick Talk About Uncomfortable Moments in the Classroom

Connection Strategy 2: Read This if You Feel Completely Overwhelmed

Connection Strategy 3: You Have This Choice to Make When Students Start Trusting You

Connection Strategy 4: Lists for When You’re Worried Everything Will Go Wrong

Connection Strategy 5: Try This When You’re Not Sure What to do Next

Connection Strategy 6: Mini-Conversations for When Time is Tight

Connection Strategy 7: Make Tiny Tweaks in Your Classroom

Afterword: For When It Gets Tough

Where to Find Me: Want to Talk With Me Face-to-Face?


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Krystle Cobran creates conversations about race that open the doors of connection. Her work helps us weave our stories together so we can connect more and fear less. Krystle draws on her Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School; her Master of Public Policy from the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy at the College of William & Mary; her experience creating, developing, and teaching two conversation-driven undergraduate courses at the intersection of race and the law (Race & the Law and American Courts, Race, and Social Issues); her work as a speaker, consultant, and writer; and her love for human stories to transform seemingly impossible conversations about race into genuine dialogue that propels us forward. Her work begins with listening—to you. You can drop Krystle a note by visiting