I hate this school

A self-help guide for teachers and schools

An important note on privilege and perspective

I want to clearly acknowledge that I carry a whole host of privileges to this space and discourse on schools. I am a white, male, cis-gendered, straight, able-bodied, youngish, American citizen at birth, college educated, charter school educator. Those labels bring with them a tremendous amount of baggage and blind spots when it comes to working with a diverse staff and teaching a student body that is primarily of color. The realities of my existence provide me with enormous privilege that I did not earn nor do I deserve. I also recognize and grapple with the inconvenient idea that the last thing anybody needs in education is another white guy telling people how to educate kids of color. I want to use my voice and perspective to make schools work for the adults and the children they serve. I operate within a system that has traditionally and intentionally denied students of color their right to a great public education in order to continue white supremacy. I also know that public education is the biggest lever we have in our country to change outcomes and combat systemic racism and oppression. Educators need to do a better job in fulfilling their promise and responsibility to children. In order to “form a more perfect union” and build transformational schools we as educators need to be honest with each other and reflective on our practices. I know I don’t have all of the answers. I have been wrong on lots and lots of decisions in my classroom. In my career I have worked hard to learn from those mistakes and do better for my students. I have observed in and been part of functional and dysfunctional schools. Over my five years in education I have compiled a solid list of ideas that I believe could help any teacher and school in any context. However, I know I need to remain mindful of my privilege and biases and will always work to be better. I want to be pushed on my thoughts and called out when I am letting my privilege show. I’m glad you’re here.

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