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Focused on The Foundation

To my white teacher friends…

Do I have your attention? That was my intention, to grasp your mind for just a few minutes. I know a diverse group of great educators who love all children yet don’t realize they might be hurting some of them. 

We ALL play a part in the history we are creating in the education system. What are we unconsciously teaching the students in our care? Do we sweep things under the rug or do we call it out and deal with it right then? Do we hide behind robotic curriculums or do we emerge our young scholars into emergent approaches to curriculum? Do we try to force teach them to keep our jobs or do we adjust to their style of learning? Do we follow the “curriculum” to fidelity to prepare them for a systematic society that has proven to produce chaotic outcomes in every facet of life? What are we doing and WHY?

Guess what? We are becoming robots. I honestly want to call us slaves. Harsh but reality is we are being told who, what, when, where, and how we teach without developing our personal WHY! Yes I said it! I am so tired of someone developing a curriculum that was tested on students who don’t look or develop like the ones I teach. How do I know, because each child has their own story and reality is these experiences allow authentic education to take place. The moment you remember most from your education in schools good or bad created an experience.

What experiences are we providing? Ones filled with anger because a relationship wasn’t built? Ones filled with hatred based from preconceived notions? Or are we creating ones filled with love because we are intrigued but what they bring to the learning environment? Ones filled with joy and safely because I can be who I desire to be without judgment and biases. 

I’m so tired of seeing black boys in schools getting yelled at by frustrated white teachers who haven’t built a relationship with the family they serve. I’m so tired of black boys getting yelled at by frustrated black teachers who feel like they are embracing our race or trying to save them so they won’t end up in a prison. 

Educators we have work to do! We can not continue to educate diverse populations of children without discussing their history, their present, and their possible future. Change the narrative of their path by being authentic in the experiences created as well as the relationships you are building. 

So when we start building relationships FIRST and effectively utilizing an emergent approach to develop a curriculum for the Students in our care; THEN, maybe THEN, we might begin to see less behavior challenges, less stressed out educators, and more money going to the appropriate places in our countries budgets. 

Another reality is if my white teacher friends say this, it might speed the process up in reference to change! If you seriously want to be an effective change agent, Let’s TALK! No matter your race! Let’s create the change we know we need to see by entrusting our educators to develop what their children need. Yes give share approaches and guidelines but don’t enable willing and able educators with materials and scripts because this isn’t a play or a production… this is Life and the future of our society. 

So educators, since we teach future politicians, doctors, lawyers, counselors, and every profession you could think of, let us be effective change agents and do what we know is best! Let the students in our care set the tone for the learning environment! When they have a valuable role, they matter!

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