We must ask ourselves not just how to make our classrooms engaging, but how to ensure it is culturally-responsive, actively relevant, and helping kids envision a world in which their identity, voice, and culture are important.
We must begin asking ourselves why and how we have begun listening now.
How can I tell my students that while I'd move mountains for them, I know my body is just as feeble against bullets as theirs?
We are, at our foundation, a nation of immigrants and native peoples displaced by systemic oppression.
Is the work we're doing really driving innovation? Or is it a band-aid on a gushing wound of educational inequity?
What is there to say about trying to exist in a place where your existence in and of itself is considered a burden?
'This is how it starts,' I thought to myself as I watched. 'This is how they start to silence us. They teach us to "control" our students, then they control us in the same way.'
In a job where routines are best practice and consistency is key, it's easy to get trapped in what feels comfortable and normal. Still, it is essential that we question what we're calling "normal" in our classrooms and in our school.
Good teaching asks us to call our own beliefs and practices into question as often as we can.That is worthwhile. It is necessary and good... and it is very, very tiring sometimes.
When we challenge students to succeed it is not to measure their worth by our standards but to give them the opportunity to see exactly just how capable and brilliant we know they already are.