Ep 157: Teaching Social Justice in the Middle School Classroom with Megan from Too Cool for Middle School - EB Academics

Ep 157: Teaching Social Justice in the Middle School Classroom with Megan from Too Cool for Middle School

If you’ve been wanting to better address social justice issues in your classroom but have been nervous about getting started, don’t worry! Feeling anxious is totally normal, and Megan Forbes from Too Cool for Middle School will give you some helpful advice on using the Social Justice Standards effectively, using texts you probably already have planned in your curriculum.

Megan Forbes, a 10-year teaching veteran, will share her experiences bringing social justice into the classroom and give tips on where to start, how to make social justice issues resonate with your students, and how to address parental questions and concerns regarding your curriculum.

So, take a listen to guide your students in affirming their identities, identifying injustice, and taking action. Megan Forbes will help you get started with great advice for using the Social Justice Standards,, plus she will share other people you can follow for ideas. 

Tune in now to hear:

  • [01:00] Welcome to the podcast, Megan Forbes! Megan visits with Caitlin to talk about the Social Justice Standards and how to address them in the ELA middle school classroom.
  • [01:10] Megan shares her background as a 10-year middle school English and history teacher
  • [05:00] How do I bring social justice teaching into my classroom? 
  • [06:00] Feeling nervous about addressing social justice topics in your classroom? Megan explains why that’s a healthy feeling 
  • [06:40] Megan explains where the Social Justice Standards coming from There are four categories: 
    • Identity
    • Diversity
    • Justice
    • Action
  • [09:50] Incorporating the Social Justice Standards in literature units
  • [11:00] Megan’s teaching idea: using a “justice journal” with Anne Frank’s story
  • [13:00] Using the standards to make social justice learning more concrete and less abstract
  • [14:00] Megan addresses common teacher fears: Is teaching social justice going to get me in trouble? Am I going to get parent complaints? 
  • [14:30] Using the standards to defend your teaching choices without getting flustered
  • [16:40] Getting your administration on board — showing admin how you are tying Social Justice Standards into your existing ELA units
  • [18:30] Megan explains how she makes her Social Justice Standards front and center in her classroom, so there is no “hidden agenda.” Get Megan’s posters for free
  • [19:40] Megan breaks down the standards
  • [21:00] Helping students to be strong in their identities, so they don’t develop insecurities that cause them to exclude others 
  • [22:00] Helping students learn to identify injustice and take action
  • [24:00] Tying social justice into texts — anchoring learning with concrete examples 
  • [27:00] The importance of helping students feel safe and affirmed before going further with social justice teaching 
  • [29:30] Megan explains the first steps to take if you would like to incorporate social justice learning into your curriculum
  • [29:50] Megan recommends people to follow to learn more about social justice teaching: Oh Happy Dani, Tiffany Jewel, Blair Imani 

Click here to listen now!

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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