Series: White People Homework: (11)

What I tried to say in this post, But Justin Schleider (@SchleiderJustin) said it so much better:

I am specifically talking to White people because we are the ones who created the problem and we are the ones who need to work towards rectifying what we have done. Plus I can only speak to the groups I am a part of and understand.

Still, others may be young and just entered the field of education. You have been raised in a White bubble (like myself) and through the purposeful guidance of our communities and family, you have not fully grasped the magnitude of the problem that permeates school. Now is the time to listen before you act. Listen to queer Black feminists and the leaders in social justice within the world of education such as Val Brown and Dr. Rosa Perez-Isaiah. Listen to professors of sociology like Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom. Once you have listened follow the people who have been doing the work for years. Nothing you are thinking of is new. Activists have been working toward collective liberation for years. You as well are just coming into the fight in the 10th round. And we need you.

And to my fellow white teachers, whether you teach English/Language Arts, History, Science, Math, an Elective, Music, etc.–we need to talk about language and literacies. Everyone, and I mean everyone, code switches. No one speaks the ‘standard’ or “formal’ language all the time. So if you’re using language or policing BIPOC students’ language as a mean to silence them, stop. Thanks.

This is an area of study I must do more research: since becoming an ELL teacher with my ELA endorsement, it’s important for my students for me to do my best and do better.