For the last 15 years, we have collaborated to create standards-aligned integrated learning models for environmental literacy and the arts in order to support issues of justice. Using these models in the classroom has ignited our students’ imaginations. In early August 2020, as we approached an uncertain school year, we sat down to reflect on […]
About Ana Raquel
Ana Raquel Thomas has been teaching elementary children with the Oakland Unified School District since 1995. She has facilitated numerous student-centered environmental justice projects involving booklets, plays, brochures, videos, and reports with students. In addition, along with educator Trena Noval, she is a cofounder of Creativity Lab, a new science and environmental literacy project. Ana originally went to Humboldt State University to “save forests” but ended up writing a degree that combined African history, women’s studies, and sociology. She models her teaching practice after her mentor teacher, Gail Meadows, whose approach to naming oppression, naming pollution issues, and community education and action has inspired Ana. Her students are ready to teach back to our community, whether about the deep sea, eliminating marine debris, Black history, interactive learning stations at recess, historical reenactment, or any topic really!