I want to first toss it out there that we should be fighting for public education and celebrating Black History every single day of the year. Not just on a Wednesday and not just in February. Every. Single. Day. Black History is OUR history and without public educations, well – – most of us would not even know how to read. Okay, that’s all I’ll say about that (for now)!
When I read Chris Emdin’s book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too, a couple of years ago, I felt lots of emotions. As a White person, there was a certain discomfort that came along with acknowledging the ways in which school systems are set up to teach through a very white lens. I had not really considered how dismissive the structure of it all was (and is) to cultures not stemming out of White/Anglo-Saxon/Puritan foundations.
Traditional ways of learning and communication within classrooms allow no space for holistic methods that see teachers and students as co-learners and contributors for outcomes. I have been told (many times!) that my approach to engaging kids and young adults in learning processes often looks like chaos; I tend to let the the group lead the rhythm and pace of the interactions. However, it doesn’t feel like chaos. There’s interest, students feel empowered to navigate their own learning, there’s group process.
What I pose to you is to consider that when we silence our ‘telling,’ the heartbeat of the group can be heard more loudly and clearly. It allows space for cultural constellations to brighten. When you’re able, I really recommend checking out Chris’ book; for me it was transformative.
Click on the image below to access the Washington Post article and interview!