What responsibility do you have to integrate social justice into teaching content?

We’ve had some interesting discussions thus far during class regarding social justice, and integrating it into our teaching content.  It has been a pleasure to learn some ideas and thoughts from other students with regards to their learned experiences in school based on the states, and/or countries that they are from.  It is evident that the location, society, and size of where we all are from have an impact on our learning, in addition to our perspectives with regards to integrating social justice into our teachings.

Social Justice refers to the equal opportunity between an individual and society; however, will this ever be the case…will we as a society ever be fair with one another, and will the playing field ever truly be level.  Depending on who you ask this answer will differ greatly; however, the first hurdle is getting society to acknowledge that there is such a gap, that there is such an imbalance of social justice, and then be willing to make the change in order to close that gap.  We see it in all aspects with regards to race, wages for women compared to men in the same job title & with the same qualifications, as well as within the court systems and sentencing.

Knowledge is power and as future educators we have an obligation to not only appreciate the views of our students at their current points, but to empower them to open their eyes, open their minds, and open their souls to other possibilities.  We are not here to force someone into believing our views, but to have them respect one another, and understand that social justice has been a huge crises within the country, and an unknown crises for the future.  We were all born innocent and remembering this fact, and understanding that in most cases we are a product of our society can help us understand how these things have shaped our views of society today.  This does not mean that our views can’t and won’t change for the future; but again, as teachers we have an obligation to prepare our students and give them this knowledge so that they are able to make educated and conscious decisions in the future with respects to social justice, and/or social in-justice.

Integrating social justice into our classrooms begins with knowing our students, taking the time to understand them, and understanding what they will need in order to be successful.  Success comes in many forms and as educators, this is a role that we must understand and embrace, so that we can allow our students the greatest chance at success.  I have had the pleasure of experiencing many cultures, countries, and customs; one reason I continue to keep an open mind and understand that social justice is always going to be an issue within society.  This fact as allowed me to embrace many things, and a quality that I hope to pass on to my future students.

My fear-is that I won’t be enough…won’t have enough time to prepare my students…and won’t be able to fully give them the opportunity that I have had over the years in many aspects.  They always say you can’t save them all…you can’t teach them all…but why not. I end the post with a quote from a known author, and it is as follows:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson


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