My Responsibility as a Teacher

As an educator it is my responsibility in the day and age to stay up to date on things that are going on in society and in the world. When it comes to social justice and teaching I believe that I have to inform my students that not everyone has the same advantages and resources to be as successful. I saw a pretty cool but eye opening video the other day. It was a race for $100 but the guy holding the $100 gave rules for the race, he would say “Alright, take a step forward if your parents aren’t divorced.” He gave all kinds of examples like that and pretty soon you have a very unfair race and the whole crowd is spaced out and it just is very eye opening. I guess what I’m saying is sometimes you don’t think about the small things which are actually the big things in life and that’s what I will educate my students about. Just because you have it good doesn’t mean everyone else does.

14 thoughts on “My Responsibility as a Teacher”

  1. I have seen this exact video and also found this very eye opening as it highlights areas of my own life that I don’t always think about as providing me with different opportunities. This is where the language that we use as teachers and the assumptions that we make about students make such an impact. One activity that you could use for your students is to assign a getting to know me presentation that could be done through video, Padlet or Stormboard which are like online bulletin boards, or Powtoon which creates a multimedia presentation that looks somewhat like a comic. This could really allow students to get creative and share aspects of their own life which will help you to get to know their traditions and home lifestyle along with make connections among students.

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  2. I have not seen the video that you mention in your post, but it sounds very powerful! I do think that you could do something very similar using technology in your classroom, and it could be just as powerful and reach a wide scope of students as well. I would suggest having the students record intro videos answering the same questions, ($100 for this, $100 for that) and in their video they can describe how much money they have and detail their answers. That would be a powerful message in the diversity of student backgrounds.

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  3. I have seen that video as well, and the first time I saw it I was amazed by it. You don’t truly understand what others experiences are like until it is put into perspective like that. I have found a website that talks about looking at a day in the life of other people. It takes students on a journey to India to follow a young boy and experience his life. Having your students put themselves in others shoes may be beneficial to get them to open their eyes to the life they are afforded or the lack of that others are living. Here is the link to the website: https://www.globalonenessproject.org/resources/lesson-plans/day-life

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  4. We definitely need to teach our students about social justice and inequalities in the world. Students as young as in kindergarten recognize differences between race and gender. In small ways, we can teach our students about diversity and bias. The site edutopio.org contains many ideas and lessons to easily implement in the classroom. A powerful statement mentioned, “if we choose not to teach or talk about it, children’s notions about race and differences will go unchecked and likely become further entrenched in their minds.” The importance of making time for these lessons and teachable moments can make a great difference.

    Spiegler, J. (2016, June 16). Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/teaching-young-children-social-justice-jinnie-spiegler

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    1. I defineatlty agree with the point you make triodl70, about teaching children starting from K about social justice. If not they will have no idea about the diversities around them, (even though as you said they notice differences as far as looks and gender) and even if there isn’t any diversity; it’s still important to learn about different cultures. They are at some point going to come across some unlike them, and they need to know how to handle that in the right way.

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      1. I 100% agree with what you stated Roshida. It is highly important to start teaching kids at a young age about social justice. Kids learn fast by seeing what others do and tend to copy those actions as well. If we are to show them different cultures and strategies of things, then maybe they will also copy that. Another thing is, as they grow and see the difference between boys and girls and race, it is important to show them how to respond to different situations that are positive as well as negative.

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  5. You bring up a great point here about how not every student grows up with the same social situation and therefore different advantages and disadvantages. As a teacher it is partially our job to model good social justice habits for our students. That means being understanding and accommodating when necessary for students who may not be as well off as others. One suggestion, if students are comfortable with it, is to have them share some background about themselves with the class or in a small group. This will help the students to realize that not everyone is “running the same race” and will hopefully cultivate a sense of social equality in the room. I have also seen the same video you are talking about and it was shocking to see how so many different people, while not always obvious, have struggled through much more than others to get to the same point in life.
    -Anthony

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  6. I completely agree. I have not seen the video, but I did do a similar activity in a professional development a few years ago! Not only should teachers be up to date on current events that shed light on social injustices, but it is also crucial for teachers to relay these current events to their students. Providing students with information about social injustices in our world gives students the opportunity to create their own connections. With these connections, they can then create a new perspective or begin to think critically about the injustices in the world around them. One way to do this is by assigning students articles on Newsela. Newsela is a site that provides students with hundreds of current news articles. For each article, students are able to adjust the reading level that best suits them. This allows students to be informed about current events in a language that is the best fit for their needs. Newsela is a great tool to use to differentiate work for students while also providing the same information to each student in the classroom; making lessons more cohesive. The site also provides quizzes to check for student understanding. I have attached a video that explains the site a little more thoroughly.

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  7. I was very impressed by this video. I wasn’t aware that such content existed and could be utilized in our classrooms. Thank you for sharing this resource with everyone.

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  8. What an incredible activity to demonstrate social justice. It is so simple, yet sends a very powerful message. I think it puts a lot into perspective for some people. They may not be able to see certain issues as “unjust” based on their own personal experiences, but it is a great way to show the many ways people can be impacted by social justice issues.

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  9. Inequality is very prevalent in society today and it is very important to teach our students about social justice so they can be prepared to handle the “real world”. It’s very important to teach your kids to critically think about information and ideas given to them so they can truly use what is, or isn’t, given to them to drive their sense of social justice.

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  10. I think this is a great idea to teach students that not everyone has the same home/ personal life. If there are students who have it good, it is important that they understand not everyone is the same. People have different advantages and disadvantages and this is why it is important for students to understand that things aren’t always equal due to this.

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  11. I remember watching a video of something like this and just thinking about it reminds me of how many disadvantages some people have. I think it’s important that students know that some people don’t have the same opportunities as them and there is a lot of concepts that people won’t understand because they don’t have the same opportunities.

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  12. I have seen this video and everyone keeps saying how eye-opening it. I don’t think soon, but I was one of these kids in the middle back. I would that getting to know your students is a great way to understand them more and to work out some problem areas. I love this video because it shows everyone the privilege that some people have. Just because you have less privileges than ours doesn’t mean that you can rise up and grown from it. I really like that brought up the video that a lot have seen, it shows social justice and privilege at its finest.

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