Islamic Heritage and History Month

October is observed as Islamic Heritage and History Month at Thames Valley. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of Muslim Canadians and a chance to educate our students about the many noteworthy individuals who, throughout history, have had significant impact inducing change in our society.

In consultation with Muslim staff and community members, the TVDSB Equity Team has prepared Islamic Heritage and History Month resources, virtual class presentations and professional learning opportunities to support learning throughout October and beyond. 


Important Information for Staff: CULTURAL SAFETY

It is important to create a learning environment that is respectful and that makes students feel safe and comfortable not only physically, socially, and emotionally but also in terms of their cultural heritage. A culturally safe learning environment is one in which students feel comfortable about expressing their ideas, opinions, and needs and about responding authentically to topics that may be culturally sensitive.

Teachers should be aware that some students may experience emotional reactions when learning about issues that have affected their own lives, their family, and/or their community.

Before addressing such topics in the classroom, teachers need to consider how to prepare and debrief students, and they need to ensure that resources are available to support students both inside and outside the classroom.

Students can also experience strong emotional reactions when learning about the adversity and challenges faced by others.

There may be students who express the wish or need to opt out of the learning.

If students are demonstrating a negative reaction to content discussed during the presentation, staff are encouraged to:

  1. Discreetly touch base with the student and assess their emotional response
  2. Connect the child with the administrator, LST or school support counsellor (if needed)

Important Reminder For Staff Before Discussing Student Identity:

CALLING SOMEONE IN

  • Done privately, after the fact
  • Invites a conversation and creates understanding
  • A chance to explain why the behaviour/language was inappropriate and what changes can be made
  • Can be difficult but, ultimately, enlightening
  • Helps someone shift their perspective
  • Depends on your social influence and relationship
  • Takes energy and patience

How it might sound:

“Hey, can we chat about what happened during the presentation? It’s about…”

 

CALLING SOMEONE OUT

  • Done publicly, in the moment
  • Stops problem behaviour immediately
  • Demonstrates that certain behaviour/language is never acceptable
  • Can be shaming, isolating and punishing
  • Might push someone into an insincere apology
  • Depends on your position / authority
  • Takes energy

How it might sound:

“There will be no Islamophobic remarks here!”

Staff Professional Learning Opportunities & Resources

To support staff learning related to Islamic Heritage and History Month, employees are invited to register for the following virtual professional learning opportunities:

  1. Title: The Effects of Anti-Muslim Racism on Student Health & Well-Being
    Session Description
    : Participants will gain and understanding of Muslim communities in the Canadian context, how anti-Muslim racism is perpetuated both subtly and explicitly in all aspects of our society including the education system, and the impact this has on Muslim student health and well-being. Participants will also learn how to support our Muslim students allowing them to be present and available for learning.
    Date: Thursday, October 21st, 2021 at 4:00 - 5:30 pm.
    Registration information: Please register in the employee portal.
  2. Title: Panel Discussion: Supporting Muslim Students
    Session Description
    : A panel of TVDSB staff will discuss best practices for supporting Muslim students and for addressing issues of Islamophobia, religion and other important conversations.
    Date: TBD
    Registration information: Please register in the employee portal.

Staff Professional Learning Resources

Teaching Tolerance: Let’s Talk. Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics with Students
https://www.learningforjustice.org/sites/default/files/general/TT%20Difficult%20Conversations%20web.pdf

Learning for Justice: Countering Islamophobia

https://www.learningforjustice.org/classroom-resources/lessons/countering-islamophobia

Elementary Classroom Resources

Islamic History and Heritage Month Expected Practice

  • Please remember the purpose and spirit of this resource is to learn and celebrate the amazing contributions of Muslim people presently and throughout history, as well as acknowledge the challenges that Muslims face, right here in Canada

  • It is imperative to preview all material before showing it to students and to practice Cultural Safety

  • It is imperative to know your learners and be aware of the impact that this material might have on each student

  • If you are unsure about the impact, then before you use this material, please reach out to students/families/caregivers that you are concerned about and explain what activities you are going to be completing in the class, to give them a chance to process and respond

  • Please see speaker notes located within each SlideDeck for details about the lesson ideas

 

Early Years/Primary Curriculum Resources

  • The Proudest Blue- A book by Ibtihaj Muhammad
    A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
  • Nadia’s Ramadan
    This video is 9 minutes long. It is a personal recount of Ramadan traditions from a Muslim child’s perspective.

 

Junior/Intermediate Curriculum Resources

  • The Muslims who Saved Jewish People
    This is a 6 minute audio clip, with accompanying transcript. It details the accounts of Albanian Muslims who helped hide and harbour Jewish people during WWII.
Intermediate/Secondary Curriculum Resources
School Displays

Schools are invited to review resources related to Islamic History / Heritage Month School Displays at the following link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vy41KjF-AHXdw6GYR17V5GH_DsrOL_lw/view?usp=sharing

All resources were prepared by Muslim parents and community members. Schools that would like support from parent / community volunteers to help set up a school display are invited to email Matthew Sereda at Matthew.Sereda@tvdsb.ca 

Support Group for Muslim Students

The Muslim Student Support Group is intended to provide Muslim students with a community of support, as well as a space for Muslim students to propose ideas to help improve TVDSB.

  • Virtual Meetings to connect with fellow TVDSB high school Muslim students
  • Facilitated by Muslim Educators with support from non-Muslim staff
  • To provide students who identify as Muslim with a community of support to safely discuss topics relevant to their lived experiences
  • A space for Muslim students to propose new for improvements and change to help remove barriers to learning and well-being

Join us Wednesday, October 20 and Wednesday, November 17 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please send an email to matthew.sereda@tvdsb.ca to be registered.

Ramadan Handbook

Staff are invited to review resources related to Ramadan at the following link:https://drive.google.com/file/d/11-q-1GSTMpNwyWo_PkzzhZ3g5jFVQDHK/view?usp=sharing

The Ramadan Handbook was developed by Muslim staff in TVDSB

External Resources 
  1. Canadian Council of Muslim Women

  2. https://www.facinghistory.org/

  3. https://www.facinghistory.org/educator-resources/current-events/stereotypes-media-islamophobia 

  4. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/multic/islamic.html#curric

  5. https://historyofislam.com/

  6. https://aihmuseum.org/

  7. https://www.tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/docs/IHMResourceGuidebook-UPDATES%26REVISIONS.pdf

  8. https://www.nccm.ca/

  9. https://etfovoice.ca/feature/power-of-stories

  10. https://educ.queensu.ca/islamic-history-month


Notable Muslim Inventions


As part of TVDSB's celebration of Islamic Heritage and History Month, we have asked Educator Dora Chams to share a book that she enjoys reading to students.

 

 

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