I'm a second-generation teacher, so I've been in the field of education all of my life. I can still hear my mom discussing the latest school board meeting or chatting with her teacher friends about grad school homework. While she worked in her office, I was working in our basement. I had created a "daycare" with my stuffed animals and a handful of tables. Each one had a file folder with a daily-log tracking their activities, milestones, and emotions. Whenever my sisters were too busy my parents would play along by checking-in and out the "children."
By the time I was nine years old, I knew I had the gift to be a teacher- I call it a gift because I couldn't stop giving it away.
I loved pretending to teach learners in my mom's classroom, make her photocopies she needed, and explore the hallways after school.
As long as I can remember, I have been a teacher. First, babysitting my mom's friends and eagerly teaching them to read. Then I taught gymnastics at my childhood gym. Afterward, I became the Education Director at our local Boys & Girls Club before becoming a classroom teacher.
When We Meet
You Should Ask Me About My
(we call them artists)
Cups of Coffee
Black Mouth Cur,
While teaching I turned to Instagram for solidarity and encouragement. I truthfully shared the many ways I unintentionally perpetuated white supremacy culture inside my classroom, along with my favorite anti-biased materials, and how I select books for my classroom collection. My Instagram account became an act of courage. It focused on creating an online community centered around anti-racist teaching.
This path of truth and justice became my work.
Looking for my professional bio?
Britt Hawthorne is a nationally recognized equity trainer in education. Britt partners with action-oriented educators, creating classroom environments that are inclusive and equitable for all learners. Her work seeks to move justice from being an idea to the authentic culture. Britt graduated from Rockford University where she studied Elementary Education and English as a Second Language. From there she earned her Montessori certification in Lower and Upper Elementary Montessori from the American Montessori Society. Additionally, Britt sought her anti-racism training from CrossRoads Organizing and Training Center. Britt is the co-creator of the Instagram #antiracistbookclub, where all are welcome to interrogate and unpack together.
Viewing young children from impoverished backgrounds as empty vessels justifies the one size fits all mentality of scripted programs and runs contrary to building upon the cultural knowledge and experiences young children bring to school.
Dr. Robin Paschal
The only environment we can create is one that reflects our soul. It is in the details that we experience the divine.
The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.
The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character, it is a preparation of the spirit.
Dr. Maria Montessori