'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.

The play made me ask the terrifying question that every educator asks themselves at some point: Am I actually helping my students?

We must do our best to provide students with an education that allows them to see the humanity of others, and grow to fight injustice and oppression within our communities.

A good education should, inherently, cause us discomfort. Part of the "enlightening experience" built into the definition of the word itself is shining light into the darkness of our own ignorance. When has that ever felt good?

I am constantly asking myself: What is the line between "education" and "indoctrination"?

We can no longer REactively teach towards justice and create space for compassion within our classrooms. We must PROactively work to make justice, compassion, and safety part of our consistent classroom culture and curriculum.

If we're going to be on the same team, we have to trust each other. That means being transparent, up front, and telling our truth even when we think it's difficult for other people to hear.

The opinions expressed in The Intersection: Culture and Race in Schools are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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