1. Do you have any new insights after the class experience concerning social justice?
Absolutely. Starting from the very beginning, taking surveys and looking into our own biases and white privilege, I immediately knew I had a lot to learn this semester. Reflecting on my results from these exercises, I was motivated to use this to better my practice as a teacher. I have always felt that this is where I have been lacking and will always have room for improvement, but I do feel more confident in my ability to incorporate social justice into more of my daily lessons.
2. Do you have any new concerns about social justice?
The only issues that come to mind are mainly about what happens outside of my classroom. I try to create a safe environment for my students because the classroom is in my control. But it would be hard for me to do so beyond that for my students, especially on social media. I would also worry a bit about parents responses to what their children are discussing in my class. I fear that after a great social justice lesson, as student could excitedly go home and talk to their parents about it and could get a negative response. There are so many things out of our control as teachers, but we try our best with what we can control.
3. What is your philosophy of integrating social justice in the classroom?
Incorporate social justice in any lesson possible, but only if it provides a meaningful, real-world, relatable learning experience for the students. Students should be able to see how the lessons are applicable to their everyday lives, why it matters, and why they should care. These lessons should incorporate current events, local news and people, and allow for reflection and discussion among students.