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These are just a few things MAYA is thankful for. Expressing gratitude feels appropriate during this time of year, especially during this challenging time of COVID. MAYA has recognized how grateful we are for the opportunities we have had to advance professionally and give back this year, all while keeping students progress and education improvement at the forefront of everything we do.


I’ve been reflecting on privilege a lot lately. It’s difficult not to right now–COVID-19 has illuminated and amplified existing inequities in the world and it seems as if many people in our country are just beginning to wake up to individual and systemic racism. Working in the field of early childhood, I’ve also been reflecting on the impact of privilege on early life experiences and lifelong success. In the education sector, there is a huge emphasis on the importance of high-quality prekindergarten and its impact on kindergarten and school readiness. But we can’t ignore the first few years of life. In fact, we should be paying most attention to–and investing the most heavily in– the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.


There has been no shortage of education in the news since March of this year. Recent news stories have cited educators as heroes for everything from the way they organize their socially distant classrooms to assisting in the distribution of food for their students. Are teachers heroes, absolutely! Is this recent heralding of educators as heroes problematic? Maybe. Why? Because they’ve always been heroic and now it’s our turn to support them.


Rakima Parson is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist a part of Centered Counseling and Consulting PLLC. This past fall, we met Rakima after attending her learning session on Keep Cultural Bias Out of Performance Reviews at Equity Space: Designing for an Inclusive Community. We were thrilled to reconnect with Rakima to discuss what it means to be a life-long learner, how caregivers can best support children at-home during quarantine, how to create belonging across communities during the pandemic, and the value of sweat.


There are many benefits to concurrent teaching, such as in-person and virtual students having the same teacher with that teacher only having to plan for one lesson delivery as opposed to two (in-person and virtual). This method provides one “classroom” community, allowing virtual students to participate in real time with their in-person peers to provide connection and build culture. How can concurrent teachers maximize engagement and equity for virtual learners? Here are three ways…


Akasha Saunders is an educator and development coach fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in organizations. The MAYA team has partnered with him on a project to build civic leadership for education in Austin. We spoke with Akasha about growing up in Jamaica, inclusive masculinity, cultivating connnection in virtual spaces, and where he is finding unmitigated joy under quarantine.


As Texas Education Agency (TEA) just announced earlier today, school districts will not lose funding if they choose to start the new school year under remote learning.

While district leaders, teachers, and families wait for TEA to release revised guidance on reopening schools. Here are 3 ways to approach remote learning for educators to consider…


My inbox is full of statements from organizational leaders, many of whom are white, about standing with the Black community. This language is necessary but insufficient. As described in one of MAYA’s go-to newsletters to learn what we can do to increase inclusion--5 Ally Actions--solidary is not enough. We must shift from the language to the labor of allyship and anti-racism…


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