From the March/April 2021 issue of Equity & Access Pre K-12
An advocate for excellence and equity, sixth grade Palm Beach County, Florida teacher Jemma McMenamin routinely uses culturally relevant teaching practices to promote social emotional learning and rigorous learning opportunities for her students.
“2020 was a historical year for many reasons. It brought up a lot of sensitive issues for so many people. I knew going into this school year, I had to really prepare, not only my students, but myself as well. I just wanted my students and their families to feel supported and ease any anxieties going into this school year.” — Jemma McMenamin
To bridge the digital divide experienced by many disadvantaged students during distance learning due to COVID-19, Jemma hosted a series of summer virtual meetings with her incoming 6th grade students and parents to increase their capacity to navigate digital learning programs. Upon completing a summer course in Culturally Relevant Teaching, she also hosted summer virtual forums for students to talk about the civil unrest that took place during the summer as well as their anxiety about transitioning to middle school.