The Transformation within Ourselves

Beyond Heroes and Holidays: The True Colors of the New Jim Toomey: Transformation, Integrity,Trust in Educating Teachers about Oppression (p57-68)

After reading the pages that were assigned to us, each person shared with the group something that stood out for them from the text. In this way everyone’s voice was heard which is one of the important aspects of being a culturally responsive teacher. Something that stood out for me was the importance of active listening. Everyone has a story to tell, and we value each other stories by responding to them, by creating within the classroom a community characterized by strong relationships. It is our duty as culturally responsive teachers to engage the students that think they don’t have a story to tell. We need to create a sense of belonging, and trust in order for students to feel safe and open up to share their stories. Students should be proud of their background; there is no shame if you have a different background, religion, ethnicity, race,or class. Sharing these stories will open “windows onto the worlds of people they’d never before encountered”. Students experience how a community grows closer when all of its members’ stories are acknowledged and celebrated.

I think this paragraph is bringing out another important aspect: the transformation, which needs to happen within ourselves. ” By engaging students with a sense of pride, and by supporting them to articulate their fears and their resistances, I hoped to help them reach through their defensiveness, to strengthen their capacity to acknowledge both their oppression and their privilege. In order to have the strength and flexibility to acknowledge their complicity in racist and sexist dynamics, they first need to reaffirm the valuable aspects of their backgrounds and the goodness of their person”.

1 thought on “The Transformation within Ourselves”

  1. You make two great points: active listening and transformation. It definitely takes both to make a great teacher. I often find it easier it to listen to the most open people because we are so used to listening to them. When a person who doesn’t speak as often finally says something, it might be hard to listen, but we should value their story as much as we value others’ story.

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