ACCESS Global Ed Talk: School Dynamics
I decided to become a teacher because I needed to understand the system of education to help and support my son; changed my graduate program, starting taking classes and braced myself. I remain in education to serve students and families who represent diverse backgrounds and situation. Education is a snapshot of our greater society and the ills that affect society also impact our school systems; you have poverty, you have privilege and you have poor pedagogical practices basically you have a programs that is in need of a radical transformation. Our current academic programs are based on assimilation strategies from the industrial period.
Education is in need of people who are ready to be apart of the change process, not those who want to complain about the many issues. We know about the problems. Let’s create possibilities. We need young people who are ready to revolutionize the system.
Recently, I hosted a book talk at a university composed of mostly educators. One of the participants posed a question about the changing landscape of education and how educators are not able to adequately teach because of “overly involved, privileged parents and/or seldom involved, impoverished parents.” Allowed the participant to voice her concerns and then I responded.
As educators, we have to remember, our job is to serve; view teaching as a service industry. Teaching in a public setting involves a different set of circumstances that require careful thought and meaningful decision-making. At the very least, students need to know we genuinely care and have their best interest in mind. This starts with building relationships. Whether you are coming from a place of poverty or privilege, you want to be heard and understood. The key to reaching people and effecting change is building relationships with the members of your school community and this includes all of the communities that represent your student population. You connect with people by building bridges and not walls. We are more alike than we are different. The goal is to focus on our similarities and create significant connections.
Steps to Building Relationships with Your School Community:
-Have a community presence.
-Invite the community into your school.
-Host community events at your school.
-Attend events in the community.
-Offer class at your school.
-Offer workshops at your school.
-Open the school campus on evenings and weekend.
-Find out what the community wants.
-Be of service to the community.
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Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Shanelle-R.-Benson-Reid/e/B06Y6C6394