I am writing this post at a time when there is so much passion and fire in the world. Through the sorrow and turmoil, much beautiful change and advancements. There is no way around the conversations that are happening. There is no way around the occurrences that are happening. People are hurting. People are angry. People are tired.
We are also driven and determined to create a world that we are all safe to live in, feel seen and heard, loved and cared for, and have plenty of opportunities in every avenue that life holds. We are looking to be seen, heard, valued, loved, needed, forgiven, supported. We’re yearning for acceptance, fair opportunities, respect from one human being to another human being, and equality.
We have been moved to action! It is so beautiful to behold!!
My Instagram Plans Derailed
This is a post that I shared to my Instagram feed. The backstory is that the caption that I am actually going to share below was a struggle. It wasn’t a struggle to write- the words flowed, but I kept having setback after setback while trying to create it and then Planoly wouldn’t save it. That’s one of those moments when you just have to know “when to say when”.
So, thinking that I would outsmart the system, I copied and pasted what I had planned to share in Notes on my Mac and scheduled just the graphic via Planoly (not an add). I was like, “I’ll post the picture and then paste the caption as soon as the picture goes live on my feed”. That’s what I told myself. Ha ha!
Needless to say, I fell asleep and didn’t wake up until almost 2 hours after the post went live. Okay, God, I know that there is meaning behind this. I am listening to You. So, if you don’t mind, I will share what was on my heart with you below. This may be the right place. Now may be the right time. As always, this was created and shared with love and respect.
This quote speaks volumes and is so timely. It’s actually a quote that was shared by Todd Herman during a Monday Meet Up within the Rise Up World Challenge with Pete Vargas, III. It wasn’t a part of our usual conversations, per se, but it was much needed during this time of magnified social injustice. These words just shook me to my core and I scrambled to write down what Mr. Herman shared. Just Powerful!
I Accept That We Have a Problem
The fever that we are feeling today can be directly related to the state that our country is in. Undoubtedly, there is no longer room for us to deny that we have a problem with racism, and injustice in this country. There is unrest. It has been bubbling under the surface for hundreds of years. I have this problem. I accept that there is a problem. I have experienced this problem. I am the change to/towards this problem.
A Few Reflexive Questions
If we are willing to accept and have this problem, here are just a handful of driving questions that we can ask ourselves as educators at this time:
Why have African American children been overlooked in the educational setting?
Why do African American children (especially males) get more office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions than their White counterparts?
Why are there disparities in technology and resources from county to county and/or state to state?
Why isn’t Black History a “must teach” in every school system and across the country? Why is allowed to be optional for some? Why are parents in some areas allowed to threaten teachers and principals that do try to teach this subject?
Why have I been mispronouncing that student’s name all year? Why wasn’t it important enough for me to learn correctly?
Why didn’t I decorate my door or hallway to celebrate _______________ (insert culture here) History Month?
Why didn’t I speak up/out about racism and social injustices and disparities before?
Why am I offended when someone states Black Lives Matter (if applicable)? Does that statement harm you or take away from you in any way? I have never been able to understand that.
This post from Flapjack Education Resources sums it up so beautifully and poignantly.
Why is systemic racism alive and well in 2020? It’s two thousand twenty!
We Fell Short
WE have not been willing to acknowledge that the problem existed.
WE have looked the other way and pretended that there wasn’t a problem.
WE have looked the other way and waited for somebody else to step up and help “those other students”.
WE have failed.
WE have not truly been a land that allows all men to be created equal.
WE need to change.
Teachers, We Can Make ALL the Difference
Can these problems be solved? If you are willing to accept and acknowledge them and to willingly put yourself in someone else’s shoes, it is absolutely doable! It’s time to roll up our sleeves and make the changes in our educational system that are needed.
It begins with you and me!
We teach our students the information that they need to learn. We teach our students the true history of our country. We teach them their role as citizens. We teach them about their history and culture. We teach them in ways that they are able to receive the information that we share or lead them to.
Simply, WE TEACH. WE LEAD.
What are you willing to give up?
How uncomfortable are you willing to get?
How many friends are you okay with losing?
How many more worthy friends are you desiring to gain?
How many children’s lives do you want to enrich?
They will be ever grateful! Their lives will be ever changed!
Let’s leave a legacy of diversity, acceptance, compassion, and inclusion that we can be proud of!