Open Letter From Founder 

RHI ALYXANDER

TO MY COLLEAGUES IN EDUCATION,

I’M ANGRY ABOUT THE LACK OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO US.

Imagine -- it’s August 1; school starts August 10. Your administration announces that you have additional extended schooldays to plan for; they expect you to use the time for science enrichment, and your textbooks won’t arrive until October. That was exactly what happened to me during my second year of classroom teaching. Unfortunately, even before masks and social distancing, we faced unexpected challenges like this every year.

Education Without Limits will provide you with options. You will have access to free, comprehensive K-12 curriculum curated and developed collaboratively by peers. A digital library will refer you to other free resources across the web. Peer coaches will be available upon request.  

We are just beginning. Education Without Limits was born May 6th, during Shelter-In-Place, as a direct response to the proliferation of conspiracy theories about Coronavirus. I have always believed in the importance of teaching media literacy skills, because they combat the spread of misinformation. Confined to my living room, I passed the time writing lesson plans to teach media literacy skills, intending to make them available online for free. While I dreamed of eventually forming a coalition of collaborators, my initial plan was to simply craft my own curriculum with feedback from my professional network.

Then, the Minneapolis Police Department murdered George Floyd. "Black Lives Matter" became a rallying cry for change. People all over the world woke up to how little, if anything, they had been taught about the history of racism in the United States. They were intrinsically motivated to better understand the institutional failings that led to the death of George Floyd. Petitions calling for antiracist history to be taught in school began circulating on social media.  As the white queer daughter of a same-sex couple, I have been aware of the homophobia and sexism in the education system from a young age -- even within the liberal bubble known as Sonoma County in Northern California. Indeed, I wrote a letter to my 6th grade teacher accusing him of sexism for declining to teach more history about women. Since then, teaching in both public and private education have shown me how our system sets up youth of color, in particular Black boys, for failure. I still remember how angry I was the day I learned that some “history” is an outright lie -- for example, the myth of the first Thanksgiving. 

This historic moment in the United States has inspired me to include teaching authentic history in the classroom as an essential aspect of building an equitable society. As I shared this vision, more teachers have joined the cause, expressing enthusiasm for a grassroots approach to curriculum development that allows us -- educators -- to create higher-quality learning experiences through the power of collaboration. Since June 1, our ultimate goal has expanded to empowering teachers with the resources and peer support they need to create learning experiences that prepare students to become knowledgeable members of a just society.

 

Throughout 2021, we will transform this website into a platform that shares our innovative custom resources, showcases other resources around the web, and provides opportunities for peer collaboration and coaching. 

If any of this excites you, please share this information with your networks, and sign up for updates!

Let’s change the world, one lesson at a time!

Sincerely,

RHI ALYXANDER

Founder, Education Without Limits

©2020 Education Without Limits

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