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

As a teacher it is important to give every student equal opportunity in the classroom. Every student should feel accepted and welcomed into the classroom. Every classroom will always have diverse students, but it is important for the teacher to treat every student the same no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, or cultural background. Outside of school, students have to go through different challenges due to their diversity such as racial slurs, social media attacks (cyber bullying), or problems at home. At school, all children should feel safe and appreciated. I want my students to look forward to coming into my classroom because they know they will never be judged by anyone because of their diversity. It is my job to make my classroom a welcoming environment to students and their families. When I do have my own classroom, I know I will have students of different cultures. I want to take the time to learn more about their culture. I would also like to implement different classroom activities that allows students to learn more about their peers and their backgrounds. I believe diversity is something that can bring the whole class together and be a great learning experience for all if implemented by the classroom teacher correctly. The teacher has to take the steps in order to bring social justice to the classroom and make his or her classroom a positive environment for all.

8 thoughts on “What responsibility do you have to integrate social justice into teaching content?”

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post! I completely agree that our students face all sorts of challenges related to social injustice. I think it is also important that we provide a safe space for them in our classroom and even give opportunities to share their experiences regarding these issues.

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  2. I hope to have a classroom that everyone has equal opportunity to show their skills and share their beliefs. I beilive that knowing your students is a huge part, but if someone does have a different culture I want to make sure to know about the culture, and I want to do everything I can to make the student feel welcomed. If they have a different holiday we can celebrate that holiday and they can share to the class about it. We would do the same for students that celebrate Christmas and all holidays and religions that we are familair with. Having knowledge and creating equal opportunities in the classroom is very important. And having knowledge and teaching the class about the certain background of a student is very important. I want the students to be themselves in the classroom. This would include them feeling safe and being able to talk freely and have their own thoughts without being judged.

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  3. This is a great post, and a great discussion to have. A few weeks ago I was in a discussion with some other educators about our ethical responsibilities as teachers, and if we had a “right” to talk to our students about topics such as this one. I believe as public servants we absolutely have the right, and the responsibility, to teach social justice to our students. It is our job to make sure that our students leave us “better than we found them” and to educate them on much more than the content area, but make them well-rounded, contributing, empathetic, members of society.

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    1. I really enjoyed this comment, Michael. I like the idea that we have this right to teach social justice to students, but that it is also our responsibility. I think that it is important to remember that if we do not take the time to look at certain issues that allow students to feel and to think, then it is possible that no one else will. We need to take it upon ourselves to provide them with these opportunities to think and to generate opinions and ideas.

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  4. Additionally, I think any technology tool that reinforces communication between students is a great way to teach social justice, as it opens the floodgates to learning about this topic and starts the communication.

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  5. This was a great posting about social justice integration into a classroom. I agree that as teachers we need to make sure that we are inclusive of everyone in our classroom. In order to do this it is good to make sure that you take the time to get to know every single student in your room. It is also important to ensure that all students have the opportunities to share and communicate with other students. This will help them feel more comfortable and safe with one another. Additionally, you have to keep in mind that not all students will feel the same way when discussing certain issues. Teaching Tolerance is a website that has some classroom resources and lessons to help you plan for teaching social justice issues! Here is the website: https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources

    Good luck!

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  6. I completely agree. Our students come to the classroom each day with different stories and different backgrounds. It is crucial that regardless of class, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or race, students are provided with equal opportunities, especially in the classroom. You mentioned in your post that students often fall victim to cyberbullying. This is a huge issue that our students face each day; one that I never had to worry about in middle school. Teachingtolerance.org. is a great site for teachers to find classroom activities and lesson plans that address cyberbullying at all age levels. I have attached the link to the cyberbullying resources on the Teaching Tolerance website. Another great website to help address cyberbullying with your students is commonsense.org.

    Both sites are aligned with the ISTE standards. Education about cyberbullying specifically targets ISTE 2b “students engage in a positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices” and 3d “Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.”

    Hope this helps in your future lesson planning!

    https://www.tolerance.org/topics/bullying-bias

    https://www.commonsense.org/education/scope-and-sequence

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  7. I agree that students should always feel safe in the classroom and should have equal opportunities. I like that you mentioned the importance of different cultures and that it is essential we respect and celebrate these differences. One way to incorporate this into the classroom would be to teach students to take on a different perspective. Tolerance.org provides a series of texts that tell stories of individuals in history who struggled to be accepted due to their race, religion or gender. These articles would be a great way to help teach social justice in the classroom!

    https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/agree-to-respectfully-disagree

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