I found this course to be very insightful and useful as an educator. There is no way to avoid the diversity of our students. In each classroom we go in to, there will be a wide variety of cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, ability levels, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and values and beliefs. Students need to be able to not only learn in a diverse environment, but learn that diversity is what makes each of them unique.
I feel as though that as an educator it falls on me to ensure that each of my students is recognized as an individual that has his or her own social justice. I have to also acknowledge that there are various privileges that I have that many of my students do not.
There were several aspects that I feel as though I will hold onto and continue to work on throughout my career. One of the biggest take away from this course would be including the Social Justice Standards in my teachings. Before this course I had no idea that Social Justice Standards even existed. Teaching younger students, I feel as though it is crucial to implement these into my lessons as much as possible.
As Johnson (2018) states, “As long as we participate in social systems, we do not get to choose whether to be involved in the consequences that result. We are involved because we are here. As such, we can only choose how to be involved, whether to simply be part of the problem or to also be part of the solution. That is where our power lies, and our responsibility” (p.75). I could not agree with this statement more!
The first step in becoming part of the solution is first being able to recognize that privilege and oppression are a real thing for our students. Furthermore, its not just being aware of the issue, but also acting on it daily in our classroom.
Being an educator, I feel as though there are many things we can do to become part of the solution. For myself specifically, I feel as though it is crucial to be able to actively listen to my students. And as Johnson (2018) points out, not just listen to listen, but listen to do something. I also feel as though it is imperative that I just become more aware of the issues of privilege in general. I really liked when Johnson (2018) states, “dare to make people feel uncomfortable, beginning with yourself” (p.123).
Johnson, A. (2018). Privilege, Power, and Difference. (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.