We all have a responsibility to stand against hate. Teachers are on the front lines.
This is the least surprising, most surprising thing ever. No, that's not a typo.
Did you know DISD wasn't officially recognized as desegregated until 2003? That's Black history.
There's not much I can say about Dr. King that hasn't already been said or will be by people far more eloquent than myself. The one man everyone, even people that couldn't care less about the Civil Rights Movement, recognizes by name from that part of America's history.
As a teacher, I like to discuss Dr. King in history. I like to put him in context. The entire world was going through a civil rights movement. In the wake of the decolonization that followed World War II, people everywhere were trying to find their collective identity and achieve some kind of equality. He traveled to India and studied the non violence movement led by Mahatma Ghandi. He spoke openly with other civil rights leaders in the US, like Malcolm X, who disagreed with his methods and mindset. Dr. King fought for and achieved concrete changes in US laws to create enduring protections for the civil liberties of people of color. He did it not just for Black people, but all people in our country so that we can all share in the bounties that our country provides.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a driven, intelligent, spiritual, compassionate, well dressed master of the English language. He was the exact opposite of what people today think of when they imagine a Black male.
I look up to Dr. King not because he was perfect, but because he was willing to do the right thing in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. He knew that he had a powerful voice and used it, but he was also humble enough to learn from those who had come before him and work with those trying to achieve the same goal. He never stopped learning, he never stopped fighting, and he continues to be the gold standard for resistance to oppression and inequity for me.
I celebrate his birthday in remembrance and respect of everything he secured for myself, my parents, and people of color across our country.
Thank you, Dr. King. Happy birthday.
Part of the discussions of movements are the outcomes. They got what they wanted.
Here's where the hard part starts though. There will be attempts to minimize the gravity of this protest by saying that everything is over because they acheived thieir goal. Their demands were met. In fact, some of the people that were on board will go back to their dorms to play Madden or Fallout 4 and will never resurface to continue the struggle. Why? They weren't involved for the right reasons or didn't fully comprehend what they were angry about. Similarly, the people who subscribe to the "Are we still talking about race, Slavery wasn't my fault. I have a black president, and When are you people going to relax" mantras will treat this as an endpoint, a period, a full stop for the fight for equality.
Talking about outcomes is important, but what we need to be focusing on is an overall shift in mindsets and our relationships with one another. Movements are not about singular victories. They are about a series of social changes that mark progress of a society to a new and transformed place. That means the movement has to continue.
The civil rights movement saw huge legal and structural changes like The Voting Rights Act 1965, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Brown v. Board of Education decision which passed the Warren Court unanimously (9-0) sending a shockwave through the entire country. This is what movements like this budding Neo Civil Rights Movement are and should be fighting for. Body cameras on police: outcome, not endpoint.
People lose their jobs all the time for saying sideways and objectionable things or failing to stop those who say them.
So I ask the question again, what's next? Students are great for crowd sourcing these kinds of things as the local level when you're talking about the school or their community. This is another great chance to see just how deep your students are and let them be creative.
As for Mizzou though? They have an Asian Affairs Center, a Black Culture Center, a Center for Dispute Resolution, the Chancellor's Diversity Initiative, and a few others, but none of these seems to be a campus level department dedicated to ensure Mizzou is a place that makes all people not just feel welcome and accepted, but actually be welcome and accepted in their academic and social community. You know, with an actual Dean and stuff.
Obviously this is based on very thin and rushed research, so if I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but if it doesn't that's insane. Most colleges in 2015 do. If that's the case, that's no different than people refusing to switch from oil lanterns to light bulbs because they thought this electricity thing would blow over.
Discuss Missouri in class to teach Student activisim
Sometimes you need to just take a day to talk current events.
If you need the TEK for your DOL, World History TEKS 1F, US History TEKS 9, and Texas History 7C will work.
Good on Missouri for coming together as a community to address what they've isolated as a chronic problem in their community. The way this can work in your class is isolating problems the school has or that exist in their communities that need to be fixed. Deciding something worth potentially dying for is a little more difficult.
At first, you'll get the less serious answers like "No more uniforms" and "Better school lunch," but then you'll start to get into the "I'd walk out if the school actually suspended people for too many tardies" or "if a teacher hurt my sister/brother and didn't get in trouble, I'd go on strike" type answers.
I think this is a worthwhile detour from typical content because part of teaching is also helping our kids understand how to advocate for themselves and develop their own core set of principals. You may also get a peek into what they value about your class, their school, and the community as a whole.
We should always be working toward creating more active and aware members of our communities.
I've been thinking quite a bit about the role and impact of teachers of color on students of color specifically and ALL students generally. Two people I follow (so should you) and always keep me thinking, @shree and @citizenstewart, have be talking about this for a while, but most recently in the last few days.
The data shows that students of color perform better with teachers of color perform better. Some areas are doing worse than others. Teachers of color are becoming scarce. These are the facts. The question I have is does that show correlation or causation? What else to the studies take into account?
The past few years, I've had some of the best scores in my district, far surpassing the district average. Is it because I'm black? Most of my school is Latin@ so if all my students were black would my scores be better? All my data shows my black students are performing worse than my students of other ethnic backgrounds. Am I just an outlier? Am I not black enough? Am I not black in the right way? I grew up here, can my students not connect with me properly because I'm too close to their age? Am I too old?
Last year, I saw a white teacher get yelled at by a black teacher accused of her as being unable to get the most out of her kids because, due to her whiteness, she couldn't connect with her students. The white teacher has the best test scores in the building, the most kids voluntarily coming to tutoring, and students physically fighting to get into her class instead of whomever is teaching the other sections of the class. The black teachers scores are garbage, she mostly yells at them, and the kids wonder aloud if that teacher is an insane person. Is the white teacher just really good and the black teacher isn't? Are they both outliers? The question I'm trying to resolve is this: If, 1 to 1, two teachers (one black and one white) are teaching the same students of color doing the exact same things and giving the exact same assignments, does the research show that the black teacher will have better results than the white one? That I'm not sure I buy.
To be clear, I do believe the thesis of the argument: Teachers of color are essential and have a positive impact on students.
It's troubling that there aren't more of us. I think my being in the classroom shows my students that people of color "know things about stuff." Many of my students never met or don't personally know a black man who was a college graduate. For a while they looked at me like a unicorn and peppered me with questions about every part life, but eventually they got over it and it was business as usual.
Where did I see the benefits of my ethnicity? They showed up to class even when they skipped or got kicked out of all their others. They believed in themselves more. The started to set bigger goals. They tried new foods, visited new places, and stepped outside of their comfort zones more because I showed them that I did, and continue to do, the same. I think they had fun in class. I don't know how studies can quantify those impacts though.
Does teacher race matter?
Why All Students Need Teachers of Color