Beyond Books: Supporting our Students

Beyond Books: Supporting our Students

On Thursday, October 27, The KHS community attended Beyond Books: Supporting Our Students. This event was hosted by the Maine Association of School Libraries and featured guest speaker Lawrence Alexander. The goal was to assist teachers in centering DEI in the curriculum and the classroom. 


Alexander discussed the goals of helping teachers share practical resources with students that will enhance an inclusive education. He promoted creating an environment for students that is comfortable with diverse sources, as well as diverse class discussions.

A point highlighted by Alexander is that many in our society, including students, endure bias, and it is important that students are able to bring their “full self” to school. He discussed students who feel like they are welcomed at school versus those who just feel they are tolerated. He encouraged the idea that “we can all be different and also want the same thing”.


Included in the presentation was a link to a slidedeck that included the material Alexander used during the event and tools we can use to improve our classroom and curriculum.

Worksheets were provided to assist communication recovery when we make a misstep that affects someone else. We can, in 30 seconds, begin repair work. We can accept feedback, acknowledge that we had a misstep, apologize, and try to correct our mistakes in the future.

Ask, Accept, Acknowledge, Apologize, Adjust.

Book Bans

Alexander continued with the idea that “when we ban books, we ban kids”. As of recently, banning books has been a more prominent issue. We often see banned books feature LGBTQ+ characters and relationships. Alexander preached that banned books exclude the representation of communities and skew students’ perceptions of themselves. Students interviewed at KHS unanimously agreed that books should not be restricted from KHS; “Outrageous, we should be able to read what we want to read. Books bring us knowledge. If they restrict our opportunity for knowledge, how are we supposed to learn?”