As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace, and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is that I was taking the time to think about my previous thoughts with regards to race. I think that it is sad that I have to write about race and the fact that racism occurs to this day. As mentioned previously, I really don't think that individuals don't know that racism exists, it is more to do with ignorance, and ignoring this thinking that it will go away. Or doing or saying nothing because you don't want to get involved etcetera.
I then related these thoughts to the classroom, where a teacher is confronted with many different issues, of course these vary depending upon the physical make - up of the students in the classroom. What happens when a teacher decides to act or not act when there are disruptions, or even decides to teach, or not to teach material that explores or unpacks the topics of racism? when we leave topics or questions left out, it is another contribution to the status quo.
Sometimes educators want to teach, and do their job. Some will go further to explore and unpack the topics. At the end of the day not everyone will engage further with the topics at the level of disruption, because as an educator this does not mean that you can do, or say as you please. The field of course is regulated, as are the rights of teachers that are protected through unions. Who wants to put their body or voice on the line? Not every teacher will want to. So here we are confronted with another issue - even if the teacher desires to teach or explore issues that are sensitive, it will require care and consideration, because there are particular curriculum that must be adhered to, and also the governing of the field of education. So how far does one go?
Educating is a political act, weather we think it is or not, because what is taught is political, because there are constants, and there are also constraints. Often these factors of what is taught is not because of the teacher, but because of the larger issues regulation. With this also comes the question of exposure, how much do we want our students to be exposed to the controversies? But the redundancy of this question is that students are being exposed everyday through various social media, and also life experience. And of course it is these factors that cannot be ignored if there is disruption, or the students need to discuss issues, topics, or have questions in the classroom. So who really gets to decide what is taught in the classroom?
I think that it is the student who gets to decide. Of course the teacher prepares the lesson or materials, how the students engage with those materials will determine the direction of the lesson, or the learning. We all know that there is more to learning than the learning of knowledge, through the process we cannot ignore the processes of socialization that take place in the schooling environment, which will impact what and how students learn.
I argue that educators should not sway away from controversy, or topics of sensitivity because there is a wealth of teaching that can occur, often it might mean that the teachers re-learn or understand why the topics of race or racism need to be explored, even if they have not experienced these themselves. These thoughts can be transferred to any topic that discusses minorities, or where there is sensitivity. Sometimes the teaching of topics means to have a supportive group of teachers, and also leadership that is committed to equity.
Below is a diagram that I have created to assist with the understanding of my thoughts.
How far are you willing to go to challenge boundaries / status quo?
Dedication: The thoughts of this human being are dedicated to all human beings. My thoughts to share with love & kindness! :)