My biggest take away from this course occurred during the first few weeks of the semester around personal experiences. The Johnson text, Privilege, Power and Difference forced me to think in a way about myself and my teaching I have not previously done. It opened up my eyes to a completely different point of view which allowed me to consider other positions besides that of a white, middle-class female. Hearing others’ experiences in the class, also got me reflecting more on my life and how fortunate I am. They often shared things that made me think differently about past experiences. These discussions have allowed me to embrace diversity and meet the needs of students.
The photo essay we had to complete also allowed me to see my district in a different light. Learning about policy and social justice standards this semester allowed me to see that my district is not strong in this area. After speaking with my curriculum director, I know this will be an area of focus for the upcoming school year. My participation in the class will allow me to bring more to the discussion moving forward on how we can be a more culturally responsive district and address these standards.
Teaching elementary school, I know the importance of starting these conversations around differences, stereotypes, and culture at a young age. I will continue to develop a culture that is respectful and open to discussions in my classroom so we can meet the needs of all students.
I appreciate all the hard work of everyone in the class and their ability to be open and forthcoming about diversity. Thank you to all for a great semester.