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Swipe through to find out what equity means to educator Josh Parker, then share your ideas for building equitable classrooms!
by Shana White | 08.21.17
This year I’m teaching at a brand-new school, and for a lot of these kids I’ll be spending the year with, I’m the first teacher of color they’ve ever had.
Given that, I feel a real responsibility here to work alongside school leadership to make our community more inclusive and culturally aware. Fear of engaging in these conversations can’t hold any of us back. They’re too important.
This is something I’m passionate about, because I’ve been a student of color in a school where I didn’t feel valued. I remember testing into the gifted program as an early elementary school student, and I’ll never forget having a teacher look right at me and say she didn’t understand how a black student could ever test into the gifted program that early.
I’m a fierce advocate for students because I don’t want any of them to experience anything like what I did.
And I want that to extend outside the walls of my classroom, into my entire school community and the greater Atlanta area.
As we look around to what’s going on in our communities, we need to be having honest conversations. Ignoring equity isn’t the answer.
Regardless of your personal experiences or the makeup of your school, I want to encourage you: be part of these conversations. It’s okay to mess up, as long as you show up. I encourage you to make asking questions and learning about how to make our communities more inclusive your one small thing.
To start this journey toward inclusion and equity, one must be first willing to learn about the history of inequality in society and in schools. Here are a few things you can do to step into these conversations:
I get that schools can’t become more inclusive overnight. The same is true of our communities. But by being that first, small drop – by getting that ripple of change started – you’re doing something significant to make sure your learning spaces can reflect a wider school culture that is safe and inclusive for all our students, including our most vulnerable. All students need and deserve that.
We recently sat down with Marc Etienne, Jose Guadarrama, and Norka Padilla to find out how they define equity and what it means in their sys...