Community Conversation: Supporting Inclusive Classroom Discourse

Nov 09, 2020 4:00PM—5:00PM


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Inclusion does not serve a special interest. In a classroom, inclusion is setting the table for all those invited, and taking in the needs of each student fully. Inclusion can seem a complex problem to solve when a teacher feels they are also trying to navigate the spectrum of political discourse prevalent in today’s society, while also safeguarding the social and emotional wellness of students who may occupy identities challenged by particular political discourse. Master teachers can continue to move a class in their understanding on an issue, while empowering students in the room to fully embody their unique political perspectives with eloquence and respect, such that no one feels disrespected in dialogue.  

This community conversation will provide educators the opportunity to share their stories about the challenges of navigating identity and politics in the classroom. Kalyan Balaven will facilitate the story circle and then provide some wisdom based on the 10 key strategies he recently  shared with the Inclusion Factor and the Inclusion Dashboard Consortium; the hope is that these tools can be used to help students navigate conversations with respect, dignity, and empathy, without compromising who they are. 

This is a free program for CATDC member Schools only, and is ideal for classroom teachers. We invite CATDC Member Schools to send up to 3 people to our free member-only workshops. Spots fill quickly and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


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Kalyan A. Balaven is the Director of Teaching and Learning at The Athenian School. Kal serves on the boards of ISEEN, Community Works West, and the Board of Standards for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). Kal also leads the Inclusion Dashboard Consortium and presents regularly on topics like measuring inclusion, developing cultural competency, and how to facilitate difficult conversations around privilege. He has been named Head of School at Dunn and begins his new role in the 2021 school year.