(Anger during protest. Source: WikiMedia Commons)
How does understanding culture and power impact your teaching?
A understanding of culture and power greatly impacts my teaching. The biggest way it impacts my teaching is by ensuring that I critically look at myself and the way that I communicate with children, parents and the community. It is also about knowing to listen and honor each of my students experiences. An understanding of culture and power means recognizing that everybody has a unique culture that extends beyond ethnicity; while being aware of the existing white dominance and privilege. For that reason, it is all the more important that I get to know and understand each of my students; and that I believe in each student’s endless potential.
Pick three terms that resonate with you from the Multicultural Education word wall. Define the terms and discuss why you chose these three terms.
I chose these three terms because these are the terms that I regrettably know the least about, and one of the most important things that I have learned about being a teacher, is to always look for ways to expand my knowledge.
Fragmentation: At the most basic level, it seems that fragmentation is the breaking down of the traditional senses of a culture. In the education system, fragmentation could be caused by a lack of a connection between a certain group of students and the school system. This lack of connection, or gap may cause poor interrelationships amongst the school and parents. At its core fragmentation is about structural equality, in that systems provide something for one group of people that they do not provide for another.
White Fragility: White fragility is about a state in which white people may reach when faced with even a small amount of racial stress. White fragility may include acting defensive, angry, full of guilt or other actions including, leaving the conversation in a high stress situation or causing an argument.
Meritocracy: Boy am I ever glad that I looked into this word. Because it is something that I feel very passionate against. Meritocracy means that in society those with natural (or predisposed) ability are rewarded.
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.
It is necessary that acknowledge and understand my own cultural values, so that I may understand how it impacts my teaching practices. It is so important that I recognize my cultural identity and then reflect on how I can go about reaching and valuing each and every child. A teaching strategy that is so important to me is bringing my students’ stories and words into my personal preparation, lesson planning and curriculum. This is only possibly by building lasting relationships with all my students and creating environments where students feel safe enough to indulge in taking risks and making mistakes in order to build richer and deeper understandings.