LaCota Katoe Gessesse, Teaching Learning Center

Upcoming #EducationSoWhite TED Talk Presented by AUS Alumna

Kristin Leong is a humanities teacher at Bellevue International School.  As an Antioch alum she has worked diligently on issues of equity and justice in education.  Her upcoming TED talk at Town Hall is next Thursday, 6/15 and it’s called #EducationSoWhite. Doors open at 6:30 pm. This event is in partnership with The Seattle Times Ed Lab. Here’s info about the event: https://townhallseattle.org/event/educationsowhite/

Read about Kristin in her own words:
I’ve been teaching middle level Humanities since I graduated with my M.Ed from Antioch in 2009, first with Rainier Scholars with highly capable kids of color who will be the first in their families to graduate from college, and then for the past five years at the International School in Bellevue. International is the #1 rated public school in Washington State and one of the top rated schools in the country.

In addition to teaching, I am also currently serving my second year as a Washington State Teacher Leader with the Puget Sound Educational Service District. The PSESD is such an inspiring team to be a part of. Our mission is to elevate teacher voice and engage in conversations and actions that fight racism and create access for all students to receive a quality education.


In my role as a Teacher Leader I publish monthly articles advocating for critical thinking at all grade levels and student-led classrooms. I also recently launched a second column called Mostly Appropriate Resources where I outline creative diversity-focused curriculum plans aligned with TPEP, Washington State’s Teacher Evaluation framework. I am one of the top-rated writers on PSESD’s site, corelaboratewa.org. Here are some of my recent posts:

No Letter Grades in Life–This is my most recent post where I advocate for real-life learning in classrooms and outline the week-long media-focused workshop that I have created for students in partnership with local media leaders such as The Seattle Times and NPR.Mostly Appropriate Resources: Slay the Curriculum –This is a TPEP-aligned lesson for 7/8th grade Humanities based on an academic analysis of a Beyonce video.

Dinner Party Prep as Student-Led Assessment–This is a post about how I use Socratic Seminars with middle school students. This post is one of the most widely circulated posts on PSESD’s site. I will be teaching a workshop with the PSESD at our Renton headquarters to other Teacher Leaders this spring based on this post.

In addition to teaching at International and serving as a Teacher Leader with the PSESD, I am also a public speaker focused on education themes. Most recently, I opened The Seattle Times’ Ignite Education Lab event at Town Hall Seattle with my talk Like Falling in Love: The Romance of Lesson Planning. This five-minute talk describes my experience last spring teaching my 6th graders about activism.

I had such a positive experience as a M.Ed. student at Antioch in 2008 and 2009. I strongly believe in Antioch’s commitment to social justice and diversity. I would be so excited to be able to work with hopeful teachers-to-be who are also drawn to Antioch’s ideals.

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