S2 Ep 36 Connection in the Classroom: Building relationships with students by bringing home into the classroom through student storytelling and family culture sharing.
6:55PM May 10, 2022
Shelli Ann Garland
Hello, and welcome to A Dash of SaLT. I'm Dr. Shelli Ann, and I'm so glad you're here. Whether you stumbled upon this podcast by accident, or you're here because the subject drew you in welcome. SaLT is an acronym for society and learning today. This podcast was created as an outlet for inviting fresh discussions on sociology and learning theories that impact your world. Each episode includes a wide range of themes that focus on society in everyday learning, whether formal or informal. So let's get stuck in shall we.
Welcome to A Dash of SaLT. Today I'm joined by educator and author Kiran Gaind. Kiran is a former high school history teacher at Mission High School in San Francisco, who decided to write a novel commemorating the life of one of her black students. I'm really delighted to have you on the podcast here and today to talk to you about your upcoming book. And the story behind that inspiration for finding my song in the Fillmore. And we'll also talk a little bit hopefully about the redevelopment era and issues in the education sector today. So welcome.
Thank you so much, Shelli Ann, I'm so happy to be here.
So first, Kiran, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, your own personal background and your experiences as a school teacher in San Francisco.
Yes. And yeah, the book is very based on some of my own experiences. And I taught for a total of nine years at nine, yeah, nine years in public schools, in San Francisco, and for one year in Oakland. And so five of those years were at Mission High School. And, you know, that was coming off of after my undergraduate years, I, you know, had started off in engineering, and I kind of found my way into subjects I was very curious and passionate about related to political science, women's studies, you know, race, all this, you know, the hoopla that's going on right now about critical race theory. I mean, I was studying that back in the early 90s, and LGBTQ and just kind of all the different areas of study related to marginalised groups in our country, we had a lot going on, on my college campus, I attended Cornell, with different groups kind of protesting policies and decisions of the university. And it just led me down this path, as I observed all of that to want to understand and to understand sort of what role I could play in helping to improve opportunities for for different groups of people. And so, you know, for a little while, I considered law and I've worked in the legal field, took some law classes at Cornell and was, you know, going pretty hard towards that pass. But then, after spending a couple years in the field, and actually seeing what the field was, like, I wanted to make a shift, and I decided to go towards education, because I felt that really with education.,You know, it's one of the few levers I think, in our society where really, once someone gets a good education, you know, that a whole new world can open up in terms of their opportunities and income, and it doesn't just affect their life, but their whole family's possibilities. And so, you know, being a teacher helping first and family students to get into college, I had been taught very well in my own high school and college educations, the skills of writing and critical thinking and reading and I wanted to pass that on, so that I became a history teacher. And, you know, my first three years were in a more sort of academic high school that had been designed for students of colour with a high credit requirement for graduation. So, you know, a pretty moderate place to teach. And then after three years, I went to mission which was, you know, a more sort of typical title one comprehensive high school, lots of need that I hadn't really had to work with in my first three years. But we got a grant from the Gates Foundation to redesign the school when I started, which involves being able to invest in some really interesting reforms, like bringing in advisories and teaming up teachers and being much more innovative with those system level approach. So within like three years of getting that grant and starting that work, we were able to triple the number of our students getting into four year colleges, which was amazing.
And that's a you it was a pretty much a rough Mission High School was a considered a more of a rough High School with gang violence and things like that in that school. So I imagine that sort of initiating some of those reforms and trying to get it to an academic level, and steam was pretty, pretty difficult for you and your team and your colleagues at the time.
That is, you can say that again, yes, I think that, I mean, we had students where, let's say, in our normal, even pre reform, we would have honours classes, if some AP classes, and kids would sort of gravitate towards those classes that in some ways, you know, the classroom was like, a friendly place to them, and they wanted to be there. And then I think the more general classes, not every class, and of course, not every kid, but there, I found my methodology of teaching from the first school I'd been at did not I couldn't just use all the same materials, you know, I had to really, excuse me, I tried to do that when I first came in, because that's what I had been doing for years, you know, the typical kind of turn to page so and so let's read the section, let's talk about it, let's kind of be very, you know, by the book, if you will, very traditional, and I was also a teacher that did a lot of experiential learning, and kind of got kids up out of their chairs, and really experiencing history. So that was the way I was trained. And I am glad for that. But I think the kids, when I got to mission, really were testing me, testing kind of my middle class mentality about education. They were seeing if through that testing, and they're by sort of communicating their deeper needs, and sometimes that can look very challenging, you know, Kid acting out or kid being defiant being, you know, resisting cooperation, etc. And we don't always get a tonne of training as teachers in terms of how to interpret that. But I saw plus 911, that happened within like the first two weeks of when I was teaching there, and I was a World History teacher. And that caused me to kind of change my whole curriculum. And it was like a trauma that we all went through together and watching the world sort of just go through this horrible thing. And we had a lot of Muslim kids in our school, and I, you know, a lot was happening. But I think I started to see how engaged my students needed to be in a very particular way. My first year was not it was bumpy, you know, but then by the second year, I started to really understand more and spend more time really bringing in the kinds of experiences where like, for instance, I'd start off the year with an assignment where students would interview a family member about their life, you know, and I had students from all over the world, lots of Migration Stories, lots of wars, and revolutions, things like that. And so through that interview of that elder, we would kind of get some of the content of the class. And we would bring their stories into the room, and everyone would also bring in a dish from their culture, and we break bread. And so I tried to then work by like building relationship and including students stories, including their cultures. And that way, I think they really started to trust me more and see that I wanted to know them and understand them. And then we could, once a kid feels that way about you, I don't care how hard their life is or what's going on. They will learn from you, you know, and there is this famous book in the education world about like, I won't learn from you by Alfie Kohn that gets into why kids do what they do in classrooms. And I think it is the onus really is on us as educators to do that hard work of earning kids trust, you know, because they have so much going on in their lives in some of these schools that they need it the classroom to be with a safe adult, you know, who's not who's not going to be one more adult who's kind of, traumatising them or being you know, they've got enough of that going on in their lives. They need to come in and be kind of held and seen and valued, you know, and our society doesn't always value these kids, like the kid that gets jumped into a gang or it lives in really poor neighbourhood, it's so easy in this country, the where everything's set up for the, those kids to be kind of forgotten, you know. And so I think in the classroom, when you really build the kid up, and you bring them the voice in, and you create those, it's like, wow, you know, then kids can really do anything, you know, and I, they were the ones who taught me that it wasn't like, I knew that, you know, so I think I was very grateful to have had the, you know, the exposure and the opportunity to just get to know the kids because I also always say, as much as they brought so much challenge, sometimes I mean, the perseverance, the grit, you know, just get up and come to school every day and work hard when you've got, you know, God knows what, like, you know, gunshots going, or drugs being dealt, and all this poverty and things like that, I mean, to show up and do school and try hard. That's pretty amazing. You know what I mean? I so I was very fortunate to get to be with the kids for as long as I did.
And you um, I can't remember if we actually said this at the beginning, but you're you're sort of based in the Silicon Valley area, in, in California, and back in that sort of that heyday, when, you know, internet and technology. And all of that was really booming and started bringing in, as you said, a lot of international population there. And you talked about sort of the mixed cultural, cultural backgrounds of the students. And again, being in that, based in that area where there have been, there was international people being brought in and make, you know, sort of setting down roots and making their own way with their own families. One of the things that made me think of is that and you sort of touched on it, but you know, is that for me, I always feel that in teaching that relationships are key, you know, to have the relationships with the individual students and to establish that relationship. And I know, we haven't said this yet, but you also have your own sort of cultural and mixed race background yourself. Did you bring your own identity into sort of the relationship and the conversations with your students? And how did you do that? And, you know, what was your take on sort of the idea of relationship as a key, important quality?
That's a really great question I did through I mean, my students would always be very curious, because those where I taught it was super diverse, like ethnically and racially, and everything. So kids would always talk about their cultures and backgrounds with one another. And then whenever an adult was with them, it was like, if they thought you, I think even whether you were white, or a person of colour, no matter who you are, the kids would always just want to know about you, you know, so they would ask a million quite Where are you from? You look? Are you Latina? Are you, uh, you know, are you Italian, were you they would always guess and want to know. So I was always very transparent, because I'm very proud of my cultural background. And it's a big over my life. I mean, it's been a huge part of my journey, just being kind of, you know, processing my own ethnic and cultural identity. So I shared that with my students. And I would tell them all about it when I went on one time when I went back to India, because my father had passed away, and he was from India. My sisters, and I took this very important journey back and visited family and did all the rituals and rites for our dads and his ashes and things and then visited all these sites throughout India and I had been, you know, in the world history curriculum, you study world religions and different places around the world. So after that particular leave very important, meaningful trip, I brought back all these like slides, and throughout the trip, I was thinking about my students and thinking about how I could share with them. So I did created a whole bunch of lessons about what I learned and where I went, and the religious experiences I had, and they were just totally riveted and interested. And because, I mean, who would you know, anyone would be but I think for high school kids, they to get that close to that kind of experience. It was really powerful and they had such great questions. And I think that also just being I would, my hope, as I went on and on in teaching year after year was to really create a space where the culture became the history became the empowerment of my students that they felt not othered by the curriculum, but very empowered and proud, you know, of their backgrounds. And there's so much you can do as a teacher to generate that or to create the conditions for that. And I, I mentioned the 911, I had also been asked by my principal to become an advisor for this, like Middle Eastern Cultural Club. And throughout the years, I was at mission because they, the kids were going through a lot that were Muslim background, they were getting harassed, and all this inter racial challenge, like you'd have some of the other racial groups just seeing epithet, you know, all that challenge that was there because of what was happening in the greater society. So I rose brought in as an advisor, and to help figure out how we could create more understanding and harmony. And so my I helped create a space where the Middle Eastern kids, they were from all over the world, right, we called it we probably shouldn't have called it the Middle Eastern club, because it was like kids from, you know, from anywhere from, from Yemen, to India, to Pakistan, to, you know, even American, Muslim, Black Muslim kids. It was a huge diversity of kids, but what they had in common was they were Muslim. And it was so important to them. Like, during Ramadan, the kids in the club, they was their idea, they developed a workshop. So they're fasting, you know, they're doing that's hard for kid in high school, 30 days, they were so generous with their culture, because they then develop this workshop where they would go classroom to classroom teaching all the kids of all the other cultures and races about Ramadan, most of the kids in the school, didn't know anything about it. But they could see that things in their religion, whether it was lent or whatever other thing that was related. It wasn't that different, you know, and it made them the fact that the kids were fasting, it really got the kids attention, the other kids attention and got their respect. They so by being brave and generous, even though they were experiencing oppression or harassment, the kids crossed the bridge, built a bridge with their peers, that helped to create more of a culture of understanding. And then we put on these big this big show, assembly in front of the whole school 1600 people was fashion and comedy and dance and music of all these different Muslim countries around the world. And that was a huge hit. So I think by the time we got through doing all of that kind of education, we really helped shift the dynamic in the school and get rid of a lot of that bias and kind of fear and hatred and instead show we're just like all y'all, you know, we like to dance, we like to dress up, we like to be with our families, we like to eat food, we like to this is life, you know, we're just like you. And it was was pretty awesome. To be part of that.
You've touched on a couple of things. One of the things I want to talk about together is storytelling and the importance of storytelling. But first, I want to say you are a published author of some self help. Books, and also you are a contributor, or have been a contributor to news and magazines and educational articles. And is that correct?
Yeah, I have 90 This will be my first actually published book. But I have published in National outfits, Huffington Post, thrive, global, Forbes, etc. around a lot of issues related it's related to education, but also related to parenting. That's been something I've been working on a lot lately, but this will be my officially my first book.
Yeah, so that's so leadership in and parenting and those types of things are, are things what you, like, if anybody Googled your name, that's what the you would be known for. But I going back to what you were saying, when people are sharing their stories and, and sort of, you know, talking about their cultural background, and in that element of sharing their stories of what their families do, and those types of things, that the idea of storytelling is so important in making connections in education, but also making those important connections in relationship. And so just as you said, you're in the process of writing your first novel. Why did you decide to write this novel?
Well, so you alluded to it in the introduction, but really intense it's still so intense to talk about but the my second to last year when I was teaching at Mission this was in the spring around the This time of year, it was right around this time of year in 2004. Oh, such a tough experience. But we had one week during that month, where in one week we had four different African American boys all get shot and killed in the same neighbourhood Fillmore neighbourhood. These were all students of our school, you know, the teachers knew and loved them, the students knew and loved them. They these were, you know, one of them in particular, I didn't know all the kids the same because I didn't have them all in my class. But one of the boys in particular Ray bass, everybody knew because he was the captain of the basketball team. He was it this occurred, this incident happened to him the night before he was going to be crowned our senior prom king, he, you know, it was a black man growing up in the Fillmore overcame all the things he was a straight arrow, you know, and was a hilarious kid that everyone knew he was larger than life. And he had gotten accepted into college first in his family. He was just about to turn that corner, you know, into his future. It's so so difficult that that happened. And so the loss of him that night, when we all found out there were teachers were all together, we were like out for the evening together, and someone got the call. And we were just like, you know, just nothing was the same after that, and, and devastation going into school Monday, seeing the impact on the whole community. And the just the, it was, it was horrible. And, but yet the kids, they were so used to it in some ways, they knew the drill kind of they knew to get, you know, everyone sort of went into action, like getting the little necklaces with the picture of Ray and starting to plan the funeral and calling all that you know what I mean? Like they it was so obvious that all the kids have been through this before. And none of us had, like, I'd never gone through it before. And I was so also disturbed by the fact that in our community, the school, his Fillmore community, everyone there, it was, like rocked the world and devastated everyone. But anyone outside of that community, this was pre Black Lives Matter. If I went to someone's home, in my circle of friends, or was talking to someone at a cocktail party, or looking at the newspaper, like no one knew this happened, you know, that These boys were gone. And it kind of felt like no one really cared, you know, because they just weren't on the public radar sort of. So that was a big thing to realise. And then to see over the years, what's happened with, with all the other boys that you've seen in the news, men and women who've lost their lives, and then this movement forming and, you know, I was like it that spoke to me so deeply because of what I've been through with this. And, you know, so when all of this occurred, I felt so deeply, you know, just was grieving and so disturbed and also felt so kind, powerless. And, you know, because you just no matter how much you're part of Duke trying to do, right, and his family and everyone he did, you know, you can't control these other forces at play. But what I did decide to do was because all the boys were from the Fillmore, I was like, What's going on over there? What Why is this, you know, is there something about this, and I started doing some research into the Fillmore neighbourhood, and reading up and going to the library, looking at the archives and came across some books. This one book called The Harlem of the West, which is like a photo book about the jazz hay day period that the Fillmore went through it back in the 40s 50s. So back at that time, you know, when you look at these photos, that particular part of San Francisco it was like where all the the hottest jazz artists were playing on the nightly they, you know, the people in the community were just dressed to the nines out just totally elegant and glamorous, enjoying their culture and that the fruits of the culture and really beautiful, really, really kind of a high point. And then in the 60s, early 60s, this redevelopment movement started. And in the case of San Francisco, I look at it through the eyes of this grandmother character in the book who's the boy love I call him Lavon. In the book, The names have been changed, and his grandmother at his funeral. She tells the whole story of the film where and she actually in the book, you know, she had owned a club during the jazz heyday and she's based off a real woman. Leola king who did was one of the only female club owners during that jazz heyday, who also owned homes there, she had prospered, you know, which was very ahead of her time very rare for a woman, black woman to be in that position. But when redevelopment happened, one day, she goes to her mailbox, and she just received this notice from the redevelopment agency saying, we have deemed this area blighted that terminology even though I mean, they're having this whole jazz heyday, whatever, they've deemed the area blighted, we have decided we are going to be redeveloping, we're going to be seizing properties, taking this we are going to be taking our clubs taking your homes, we will compensate you. And it was kind of an FYI notice. So within you know very quickly after that, notice her you know, they take over the properties by force, and she is left pretty much penniless, this real life woman waits her entire life for compensation never gets any, you know, she did the real woman Leo King died in 2015. In her 90s, she had had all her stuff kind of jammed into this little apartment in the Fillmore. Meanwhile, all you know, projects go up and all these things kind of replace that. And of course, they redeveloped the beautiful Japan town. Because there had also been residents of this area that went through internment and things like that. So it's a very complex kind of historical reality that I'm not saying it's, I'm not, I'm not trying to create an opinion, I just want to create a portrait of through the eyes of that character, what she lost, and then for her to lose her grandson, who had been, you know, her just her everything her her hope for the future. It's a pretty intense loss. And I want my readers to feel it, because I felt that. So our culture at that time in history, we really weren't that aware of this. And we really weren't feeling these losses. And I so I want that to be part of the story. And all of that to say that, you know, it's not supposed to be a history book. It's it's just supposed to present these large swaths and to let the reader you know, do the thinking and reflecting that the reader wants to do about it, but to make sure people know about it. Yeah.
And the title finding my song in the film war. Yeah. Can you can you expand on that a little bit more? What is the significance of of that? You know, we talked a lot about the Fillmore. And it's so good that you provided us with that background, because a lot of people, I know that people all over the world, listeners all over the world can can definitely identify with ghettoised areas that you were talking about. And they, obviously in different parts of the world, they would have their own names of those areas. But in obviously, this particular one is Fillmore. But you know, why that title finding my song in the Fillmore?
Well, I think that there's a couple of different angles and meanings of that. I think that for the character herself. She's young, she's just starting her journey, the main character of the book, she's a teacher, she's searching in the older African traditions, there is this idea that when a purse when a beat when a woman becomes pregnant, that she can kind of hear a song that it becomes the song that she's singing to her unborn, and that even as the child becomes born, you know, this is that child song. It's the idea that every human every life has this kind of essence. And the fact that in these cultures, you know, music is so important and dance, it's such such an integral part of how we how people express, you know, their essence, their values, they're worse. So it's a play on that kind of idea that she as a human is, is searching for that her own song. She didn't per se have that experience in her own upbringing, but she's setting out to journey to find it, you know, for herself. So there's that. But then I think the Fillmore itself, that hey, Day a as I read it, it really was like the song of the film where that's the essence of that community. And it's, you know what the way that this character finds her essence of song is by honouring the essence that song of the Fillmore community, and fighting for it and fighting to keep it alive, fighting to make sure people know about it fighting to you know, she goes on through the book, there's a legal battle. And she, you know, this Justin Herman plaza that was named after it's in the Embarcadero on the water in San Francisco, it's a real Plaza. It was named after the man who headed up the redevelopment agency. And in the book, she starts an effort with this community organisation and an attorney that, you know, there's a relationship between her and this attorney, and they fight to get that name change to the boy's name to Amman, who's who was killed during that week. Um, and so I think that it that's also another kind of meaning is just the the justice, you know, finding the song of basically what the Fillmore is supposed to be about. But through policy and history, it got, you know, removed forcefully, and she's trying to help it get back to its essence. Yeah.
And you've talked a lot about sort of the history, and, and how you've sort of intertwined your fictional characters with the truth of, of this experience? And what happened with these real life people? Um, if you could say, you know, in just a few words, what would you say that your novels message and significance, you know, is, if you could, if you could say it loud and clear, what would what would it say?
It's a book that is calling us as Americans to find our purpose through, you know, through caring about and fighting for justice, for those who maybe haven't always had the support or the success that they deserve. And that really, all of us can play a part in that. And I'm hoping especially younger people who might be setting out and searching for their song for their purpose, that this book will inspire them to, you know, have a sense of meaning and purpose in their journey.
And the main character, Karina is a is a young teacher, wide eyed, and, you know, not really knowing, you know, what experiences are coming her way, except for, except for maybe her own experiences, which would look very different than the experiences of the students that she was teaching in that area. Even as a as a black woman, um, because she has that, that has had that ability to experience education, higher education. So it was even at a different income level than some of the people even in the Fillmore area, in that ghettoised area. What is it that she wants?
I think that it's established early on that she kind of has this inner and outer like all of us and like all characters, you know, there's the inner reality and journey and desire and then the outer ways in which she's trying to, you know, prove herself, I think that ultimately, there's a lot of need on her part to get approval from her parents. And she spent most of her life doing that. Especially her mother, there's a bit of interesting, quite a bit of interesting conflict and tension there between, like the mothers expectations, and which plays out a bit culturally in the, in the narrative, and also class based expectations, I think, and, you know, ultimately finding my song in the film was really about Karina being able to, you know, realise that she can't she the song that she wants to find can't be her mother's and it can't be her father's that it has to be or own. And that through the relationships with the students who have relationships with the attorney on this case, she really does find more of who she really is. And I think while in the early part of the book she wants seems to the beta desire seems to be kind of approval and proving herself to her parents. It turns out to be more about her being an ally and Being doing the right thing with regards to this community, you know, and so she really does care. By the end of the book, she finds her purpose and sense of self much more in the context of the community, more so than from her own family.
And I know that you're more, you know, you're more of the expert on on history, world history and US history than I would be. So, I guess my question would be why, you know, why? I understand from just what you've been telling me, you know, that the redevelopment area era, it was almost as if, you know, the government and the powers that be, you know, thought that redesigning and redeveloping a particular area, like the Fillmore was going to be beneficial, and turns out it, you know, it just continued to perpetuate some of those small problems, but actually even made them larger problems, but then also took away that rich history and culture that that had originally been there. So what why did you choose to talk about the, you know, the redevelopment era and US history? And what message from that period do you think is going to impact people and readers and in people's life decisions today?
Well, I think we've seen throughout this time, I mean, it's for for decades and years in our country, obviously, that we've been dealing with the realities of like racial history and bias. And I think within the last couple of years, I mean, it's gotten so front and centre with everything with George Floyd's murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, and then the publishing of books like how to be an anti racist and sort of models and frameworks to look at, you know, the ways in which these issues are just run so deep, you know, there was that article that Tawny Ease Coates wrote in The Atlantic, about the Case for Reparations, you know, back before, black before COVID hit. And before this was back in, I think 2015. And again, I know, these are very controversial issues, and I'm not trying to suggest take a political stance, per se, but I think in my own journey of understanding American history, I didn't learn about any of that kind of history when I was growing up, or, and I sought it out in college. And then, you know, over the years working with the students I worked with, I mean, I really immersed myself much more in African American History and, you know, different aspects of global history. I think that for me, when you're writing, when, as a fiction writer, you know, it's a cinematic writing experience, and you know, you have to make choices as an artist that will make impact and that will be memorable. And that will paint a picture for your your audience. And I think that you honing in on, you know, slices and its personalities and things, it's, it's something you have to get right, you know, and I for me, I think that that moment of history, it's it's a slice, and a microcosm that represents so much it says so much is packed in to that one micro, you know, historical reality. And what we live with right now, in the Bay Area, I mean, the inequalities between the haves and have nots are just as have skyrocketed here. It's, it's so tense, and it's so real. And I want the Bay Area, you know, readers to really see some of the roots, you know, in some ways, I see this historical period as a very pivotal time in Bay Area history. And that instead of us always having to talk about the current day and complain about, you know, the things you hear it, it's like, the housing prices and all the things that are on people's minds. It takes us to another moment and millio like gives us something so similar to talk about, and that, you know, it frames it in and then it gives it this racial aspect that I think often in the Bay Area, we think we're so progressive, we think we've figured this all out. We've got this right, we're the left we're you know, but no, we haven't it's like we even here, you know, these things. We don't know that much about this stuff, you know, so it's, it's all of that I don't know how I'm coming at this more as an artist than a historian in some ways, you know, because This is a fictional work and it's uh, when you're coming at something as an artist, I think what you think about more than anything and what you're going for is like emotion and the punch, you want to stay with people you want to like, get you want to really move them, you know. And so for me, all of that is why I chose this is I think it's it basically, it takes something micro and says everything, you know, that's how I feel about it. Yeah, yeah. And the smallest stories can make the biggest impact, that's, you know, that it draws attention to the importance of, of these stories that might otherwise get left behind the experiences in the film or in in that era area. And in that era, where not everyone, you know, would have that experience or that understanding of it, it draws attention to that. And I think that, that, you know, what you said there about, you know, it really, in this day, when we are having such a bigger chasm between the haves and the have nots, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. You know, we have to kind of go back to those moments and draw on those and learn from them. So that we can move on and so that we can do something different today in today's world. Yes. So when will your book be published? Well, it is, it's still a work in progress. And it's I'm I'm actually just scheduled recently a upcoming very exciting in the fall, kind of a pitch experience that I'm going to be having. So right now I'm kind of editing, putting the finishing touches on the story, my goal and hope that all of what's scheduled down the pipe goes smoothly, you know, because it's publishing, it's, it's a big, you know, the agents and the publishing houses, just getting all of those ducks in a row and taking those big risks. You know, I think if all goes according to plan, and well, I'm hoping that this book is going to be coming out within the first part of 2023. And that's my goal. And I will keep in touch with you and let you know how that's progressing. But that's right now kind of what I'm working towards as the pub date. And I should have a better, you know, more specific timeline in the next few months. But yeah, it's a huge process. And it's, it's something I've been working on the story for a really long time. So now it's kind of getting it ready to really bring it out there and birth it out there. So I'm excited. And it inspires a lot of people.
Yeah, definitely. And how can listeners stay in touch with you? What are some of your contacts and websites and things that that people can stay up on you and stay in contact with your progress in this, the finishing of this book?
Yeah, they're right now the two main places, and this will get more and bigger the list will grow. But the two main places I've been spending time right now are on Instagram and LinkedIn, and so on both platforms can be found as Kiran Gaind author, and you can kind of you know, become a part of that community, like the pages and then the the regular posts that are coming out, you'll receive those and any updates about the book. And then as publishing gets closer, there will be more kind of web, a website presence and things like that. But for now, I've been sort of building the communities through mostly through social,
yeah. Great. So as we get ready to say goodbye to each other, and goodbye to the listeners, I I often like to ask my guests, if they have any final words of wisdom or a message that you want to leave the listeners with?
Well, I think that like in this book, the character and my own journey, a lot of the quality of mind and presence that she embodies and brings out is really just about humility and curiosity and wanting to be a ally and a source for justice. And so I just in both little the littlest ways and the biggest ways that I hope reading this book, and just generally this conversation will empower foks to know that those little and large ways that you also embrace those things, your curiosity, your ally, ship your little things for justice, things that you can do to pay attention to those who like need our support and empowerment that I just encourage you to act on that and to you know, know that it matters. Yeah.
Yeah, that's fantastic. And I will make sure to include your contact information in the descriptor when the episode at the end of the episode for everyone. And Kiran, thank you, for I can't wait to read the book. And to follow that journey. Also be following your journey. And I thank you so much for being a guest and for bringing to light, you know, not not only issues that were in the past and part of history, but are ongoing and continue to be issues in our society and in our learning environments, in our communities. And I think you have an important story to tell. Thank you so much for being a guest on my on my podcast today.
My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me Shelli.
I hope that you've enjoyed this discussion on A Dash of SaLT, a space where you'll always find fresh and current discussions on society and learning today. Seasoned with just the right touch of experts in education and a dash of sociological imagination. Please be sure to like and share this episode. And don't forget to subscribe to A Dash of SaLT on PodBean, so that you don't miss the next episode. Thanks so much and we'll chat again soon.