I became an educator because education is a tool for liberation. I enjoy working with students to explore themes in the world and literature that create space to find one’s place in the world, or MAKE space in the world. Teachers can be the adult that makes space (or gets out of the way) for students to become. As a non-black teacher that works with black students, I work very carefully to share teaching and learning in the classroom as it liberates all of us.
I love how my school is very close knit. Large family units make up most of our demographic where multiple groups of four to five students across grade levels are cousins or siblings. It provides space for a village-like upbringing of students through our school, where everyone knows everyone and is looking out for everyone. It helps students AND staff find a place where they feel safe and looked after, which makes work less stressful in that regard. You know someone has your back.
When anyone is denied access to make choices for themselves, then this caste-like cycle of keeping people where they are is perpetuated. In regard to students who come from low-income families, it is pertinent for students to have a say in the steps they take in securing their own future. When choices are made for students, especially people who are up against so much as it related to capitalism, there is no guarantee for hope. Allowing for students to attend schools of their choice neutralizes the poisonous effects of capitalism on education.
Black Lives Matter.