Nov 24, 2021 · 2 min read

Supporting Diversity and Strong Teacher-Student Connections in Schools

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Inclusive classroom environments where students feel seen as individuals, valued as part of a community, and trusted by their teachers are the foundation for academic and personal growth. And when teachers reflect the racial diversity of their school communities, it helps students feel a deep sense of belonging.

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) Dr. Priscilla Chan joined Dr. Nardos King in a fireside chat at the opening plenary of the 49th annual National Association of Black School Educators (NABSE) conference to share what partnering with educators committed to supporting the whole child looks like at CZI, and discuss the importance of helping teachers build and maintain strong relationships with students in order to advance both academic success and wellbeing for our students. 

We need to be able to address the massive disruption in the classroom, in students’ lives, in their sense of belonging and safety for them to be able to learn.

Dr. Priscilla Chan, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

At CZI, we are committed to an education system grounded in racial equity that gives each student exactly what they need to be successful in school and to thrive beyond the classroom. To support this goal, Priscilla announced more than $9 million in grants to expand the pipeline of diverse teachers, administrators, and education leaders nationwide.

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In her remarks, Priscilla also spoke about the importance of collaborating with those closest to the work to develop solutions that meet the unique needs of each school and community.

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As we approach the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, a focus on trusting teacher-student relationships is more important than ever. Prisclla shared how CZI partnered with educators, researchers, and students to develop Along, a free digital reflection tool that makes it easier for teachers to check-in one-on-one with each student.

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

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