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LLCN Brief

10 EpisodesProduced by Kent ISDWebsite

Literacy leaders and coaches know that routinely developing knowledge and skills models for students that learning is important. Join hosts Mark Raffler (Literacy Consultant) and Sarah Shoemaker (Early Literacy Coach) for five exclusive interviews each school year with local and national literacy ex… read more


Next Steps in Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom with Sommer Jabbar

In this episode, we (Mark Raffler and Sarah Shoemaker) reconnect with Sommer Jabbar, Equity and Student Success Coordinator at Kent Intermediate School District.  Sommer joins us to dialogue again about Culturally Responsive Teaching.  This podcast is a follow-up conversation to our ever popular Culturally Responsive Teaching episode which aired in February of 2021. Today, Sommer takes us further into Culturally Responsive Teaching by talking about classroom practices and ways of creating a responsive classroom.  In essence, this dialogue is all about relationships with students.

Here is a quick brief of our conversation:

*Sarah and Sommer reflect on the previous podcast regarding the internal work of culturally responsive teaching.  Sommer dives into the needed elements for taking this work into the daily classroom with application.  Some elements Sommer discusses more in-depth include:  A strengths-based mindset, attention grabbers specifically games, creating opportunities for social interactions with peers and teachers as a way to build rapport, and storytelling.  Storytelling helps with literacy and keeps the history of cultures alive.  Sommer emphasizes that these elements are not new, yet require intentionality.  This intentionality focus is not a burden, but a hope for culturally responsive teaching.

*Mark asks about resources for culturally responsive teaching.  Sommer talks about diverse classroom libraries.  Survey families and students to see what their needs are.  Take time to learn the cultures represented in your classroom.  All students need to see themselves in the classroom and the classroom library.  Lots of resources are available locally through libraries, colleges, and the Kent ISD.

*From there, we talk about exploring and integrating these resources into our teaching and classrooms.  Solid foundations are important.  We’re working to make “a house a home” in our classrooms.  Including students in these decisions is crucial.

*Sommer reminds us to incorporate “mirrors and windows” into our classroom teaching materials and to counter stereotypes.  It takes intentionality to keep materials relevant to the classroom and content.

*We wrap up this episode by asking listeners to share your thoughts on podcast topics - your voice matters!  Please visit to tell us what you want to future podcasts to focus on in relation to literacy.

All resources in this LLCN Brief (and future podcasts) can be found at:  Subscribe to the Literacy Leadership and Coaches Network podcasts here: or your favorite podcast platform

Please note the audio used as an introduction and in transitions in this podcast is under the Creative Common License and attribution is given as follows:
Medicine by WinnieTheMoog

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