Wednesday, January 12, 2011
How Race Impacts Learning & Teaching at Our School: Multiple Perspectives III
My colleagues' eloquent responses to our race and teaching professional development article continue:
"Building relationships is an important part of developing and maintaining a racially and ethnically responsible school environment. When students witness staff members caring about each other and the students in the school in a genuine manner they are more likely to care about themselves and the work they are doing. To piggy back off of what [another colleague] said, “When I was in school my teachers all cared about me and talked to me frequently about how things were going. I also had parents who were on top of me to make sure I was doing what I was supposed to” It was the same for me, so I didn’t want to disappoint my family or my teachers by doing poorly.
Today, I feel that building strong relationships with students will help instill those same thoughts in them and hopefully regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or family view on education that at least for the 8 hours we have them each day we can help bridge the gap. Part of the article that I found especially relevant to how culture impacts teaching and learning at [our school] was analyzing how we build relationships, 'Respecting and being interested in students experiences and cultural backgrounds,' I think that at [our school] we are all very invested in the lives of our students and make it a priority to not just know about them but to be “interested” in them even when we get the same little stories time after time.
I think that our interest in them makes them a little more comfortable and committed. By doing the work we do day in and day out, building relationships with students, peers and families but recognizing that we still have work to do, we are able to create a responsible school environment at [our school]."