It’s increasingly important for parents to know who is in the front of the classroom. Over the past year, I ‘ve heard shocking stories about teachers engaging in “very strange” tactics to facilitate learning. The list of oddities include having students pick cotton, asking students to act as slaves, teachers dressing up as a border wall, and (of course) teachers wearing black face at a Halloween party.
I’m delighted to say, I am in the front of the classroom!
One of my goals is to ensure the classroom is a brave space where students are comfortable enough to speak their truth. I also challenge traditional approaches to teaching public administration by discussing institutionalized racism and systems of oppression. I bring race-conscious dialogue into the classroom, so future public administrators can address myriad complex health, social and policy issues.
Read more about my work here: Public Policy Professors Work Within the Ranks to Include Race-Conscious Dialogue
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post as well as the linked article referencing some of your work. I found the above quote to be really powerful and I feel it should be everywhere! For a lot of people, conversations about race and institutionalized racism are met with feelings of discomfort and feelings of uneasiness, which by all means is okay. However being comfortable with the level of discomfort about topics surrounding race (which are very much real) is where issues begin to arise.
These conversations are very much needed in classrooms despite how uncomfortable they may be as ignoring these issues only perpetuates these issues. I remember reading problematic articles where teachers had their students take part in racist, hurtful behavior and could not believe adults were forcing these beliefs and racially fueled concepts on their students. Like you, I am delighted that you (and professionals similar to you) are taking the lead in our classrooms.
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Thank you for sharing your comments about what’s happening in the classroom. I think it’s the heart of many problems we are facing in society. Students need to see themselves in the front of the classroom. They need people who understand their plight and will work to ensure their histories and identities are apart of the curriculum.