Boot Straps


Boot Straps.  Everyone has a Story. Meritocracy

“Pulling oneself up by their boot straps”, has a whole new meaning to me now, as well as, “Meritocracy”.

Andrew Stanton, a storyteller and film director for PIXAR, once said in a Ted Talk, “there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love after hearing their story”.  That is something that has stuck with me for a while now.  It was brought up again in our class in discussion, and David spoke to us of it as well.  “Love your students,” David said, and I think he is right.  We have to rise above our own biases and learn the stories of all our students.  They are not blank slates.  They come to us full of knowledge, and it is our job, our responsibility to tap into their reserves and help guide them on a path of learning that will transcend school and navigate them throughout their lives.

I grew up believing there were boot straps and an equal meritocracy for those who worked hard.  I see now how wrong that is.  While for some it might be true, it is more often than not the case.  Someone’s culture can greatly determine their access to those powers.

Recognizing and respecting that everyone has a story will be the way I implement CRT within my classroom and life.  This course touched the tip of the iceberg, but my learning will have to be continuous and my reflections will have to continue in order to be the most effective and responsive teacher I can be.


2 thoughts on “Boot Straps”

  1. Shivani- I had to google ‘meritocracy.’ Definitely going to add that one to my personal word wall. I have definitely struggled to take the blinders off when it comes to access to power….now I see those boot straps are just for looks. They don’t work for everyone.

  2. Shivani, I thought that your discussion of “bootstraps” and “meritocracy” was very thoughtful. I had considered talking about these 2 words from the word wall in my blog post. I remember as a kid and a young adult that many of the authority figures at the schools I attended promoted and perpetuated the myth that “meritocracy” and “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps” were the key to success and achievement no matter what your background. These misconceptions about educational, social, and economic success were loudly promoted by older authority figures well into my undergraduate days. I kept wondering who meritocracy and bootstraps were really for if only the really rich or privileged or lucky were succeeding. It seemed like a strange concept to me, but it was one that my elders were promoting as the key to success, so I didn’t really question it much until I learned more about inequality and social injustice as an undergraduate student. Then, meritocracy and bootstraps began to reveal themselves for what they really were — value and achievement systems reserved for those who already had a leg up socially and economically.

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