Lately I've been seeing Muslim parents asking how educators/admin will be accommodating their kids for Ramadan & also seeing educators asking the same thing about their students. I'll share my own experience growing up in public school, what I wish schools did & some tips below:
First, make sure that you actually do have Muslim students and not assume that the Arab student is a Muslim or that the brown kid is Muslim (I've worked at schools where teachers just assumed any brown kid was a Muslim. don't be that teacher).
Next, acknowledge that Ramadan is coming up. It shows that you are preparing and know that they have an important religious observation happening. If the students are young, reach out to their parents to wish them a happy ramadan and see if their kids are planning to fast.
Some young kids want to fast. Some don't. Some will want to fast half days. Some will fast on just the weekends. I started fasting at school when I was in third grade. My second grader says she will fast two days a week (she doesn't want to fast on school lunch days 😂).
So if they do fast, make sure there's a safe space for them to be at during lunch time. Library? Office? Classroom? It might be tricky with covid, but see if any staff/teacher is willing to have the Muslim kids chill in their room for lunch hour & do a quiet activity.
I remember my dad used to come pick me up during lunch time and just drive me around for the 30 minutes or so during lunch. He could've just asked for some accommodation but I enjoyed the one-on-one time with him anyway. Might not work for everyone, obviously.
Gym class will be challenging. Please don't let them do a mile run during gym class 😩 if they're fasting. Low impact physical activity would work. But also if it's outside, it's more challenging if it's hot. Keep that in mind.
Don't say things like "wow, that's a lot!" or "wow that must be hard". Don't be negative. They want to fast to feel proud & big. Encouragement is great. "I'm sure you're excited to be celebrating Ramadan by fasting this year" "What are you looking forward to eating for iftar?"
Standardized testing and testing in general! Try to accommodate if possible to make it early during the day when they're more alert/not as lethargic.
Some Muslim students in middle/high school or college won't fast for various reasons. Don't ask them why. It could be a health issue, or a girl is on her period, or a disability.
Here's a great article by @RusulAlrubail that has great tips as well.
Oh and please be understanding. Many Muslims attend nightly prayers - taraweeh- and may be sleeping late or ask for an extension on a project. Plus covid. Plus everything else. ❤️ Grateful for all of the educators who continue to make their spaces an inclusive and space space
Also some young kids will be super excited about Ramadan so encourage that discussion and also read Ramadan books. Here's a thread I wrote a couple of days ago about my fav. Ramadan books for kids:
We are lucky enough to live right next to the school and our kids can leave during lunch so my daughter will leave school at lunch/recess and hang out with me and little sis ❤️
This is a helpful link pbs.org/newshour/educa…
And here’s a great thread on what Ramadan is.
Everyone's body reacts differently to fasting. Teachers/professors should be accommodating of differences in energy levels - offer virtual exams if possible that can be done at various times. Some will do better after Iftar (breaking of fast) or after suhoor (early breakfast)
Since we’re talking about Ramadan, I’m doing a Q&A with a wonderful friend @ReemFaruqi & she will read from her incredible new book AMIRA’S PICTURE DAY where Amira is attending Eid prayer but it’s on the same day as picture. THIS HAPPENS OFTEN! Join us: facebook.com/events/4688182…

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