1. How does understanding culture and power impact your teaching?
Recognizing each student’s cultural strengths and building on them is something that I feel I have learned over these three weeks. We all have a story and each and every one of us brings something to be appreciated and reflected upon. I think the bootstrap analogy really speaks to me in regard to power. Realizing that I didn’t get to where I am today simply by putting forth effort is extremely humbling as well as infuriating. The fact that other people are not offered equal opportunities is not ok and we can do something about it. This is something that I will find the time to talk about in class once a safe place is created and I get to know my students and they feel they can trust me. Like Ernestine said, you are either perpetuating colonialism and institutionalism or you are taking a stand against it.
2. Pick three terms that resonate with you from the Multicultural Education word wall. Define the terms and discuss why you chose these three terms.
White fragility is a term that I heard for the first time a last week. White fragility “is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation” Instead of listening, many times white people turn the conversations around to “what about me” type of situations. Unfortunately, this type of behavior closes the person off when instead he or she should listen and talk through whatever it is. And this type of behavior was happening within our classroom even yesterday. This blockade that people put up is not getting us anywhere. We need to learn to be receptive and really listen to others.
A safe place is somewhere that everyone is welcome, appreciated, and is both relied upon and can rely upon others. A safe place is something I want to create in the classroom. I would like to create a safe place where students feel like they can speak up without judgement or ridicule. In order to have a productive class, this is paramount.
Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. I hope that I can teach my students to believe in themselves by expressing and showing that I believe in them. I hope I can teach my students to put their hearts into everything they do. “Remember hope is a good thing, and no good thing ever dies.”
3. Describe your plan to teach in a culturally responsive way in the coming year. Include teaching strategies you might employ as well as content/units you will implement.
I plan to get involved to contribute to the community. I don’t want to be that teacher who just hangs out with other teachers and leaves every summer. I want to involve parents, families, elders, and culture bearers as much as possible. I think students will learn more and be more responsive to having guests in the classroom. I plan to incorporate place based practices into my lesson plans and to research ways to teach lessons with that in mind.