Others, feel free to chime in with any thoughts, experiences, perspectives, and questions.
Ahh... Racism is America’s oxygen. All of us breathe it in. No one is untouched by it. Our country was built on the principles & evil practices of it. Every American system and institution has been poisoned by racism, including the school system.
America is bent on keeping education from Black kids.
No. Let me explain.
Both are wrong... The point is, however, that generally, Black kids are the ones getting punished for crimes.
What I am saying: People carry their unchecked biases and prejudices wherever they go, and these adversely affect others.
I was horrified. Other kids didn’t bat an eye. Normal for them, I guess.
This is America.
1. Like I had no source of information outside of them.
2. Like their presence in my life was literally saving my life.
3. Like I was already guilty of something they assumed I’d do.
To Black boys: like they’re unintelligent, violent thugs, whose only hope is their amazing teacher.
To Black girls: like they’re disrespectful, combative, hyper-sexual, and vying for the Ts’ control.
Mom shut that down.
Fast forward: My bro attends West Point Military Academy, and my sis was valedictorian of her 8th grade class.
Years of oppression is both traumatizing and tiring.
Pay for workshops & PDs for teachers that challenge them to face their prejudice, bias, & privilege.
Hire qualified people of color.
Hold your staff accountable, check them when they’re wrong, fire the ones who refuse to “get it.”
Admit to your own white privilege & leverage it to benefit your students of color.
Request professional racial & cultural sensitivity trainings from your admin.
Check your colleagues when you see them perpetuating racism/oppression.
Consider any racially-motivated implications of every interaction you have w/ students of color.
(This is tiring, yes. But your SOCs are doing the exact same thing, every day, all the time).
Reflect. Apologize. Fix it. Move on.
Consider moving into, or near the neighborhood in which you teach.
Spend time with your SOCs outside of the school setting- this will help you “re-humanize” them, and see them as people.
Look up “micro-aggressions,” then, stop committing them. Please.
Go out of your way to try, eat, experience, and talk about the many things your Students of Color love. Invite other teachers to do so, as well.
These are really tough conversations, but they have to be had. Not only for our personal growth, but for our kids.