Steps of Apologies

Earlier this week, one of the (no need for superlatives here– all students deserve respect without qualifiers) students told me about a comment another one of my colleague’s made:


We talked, and the issue isn’t over. One could make a strong argument that I shouldn’t have placed the “Do you want me to do something about it?” question/burden on the student. I have spoken, and do speak with, other adults in the building I trust to ensure that the harm doesn’t continue and the student is cared for. What I wish is that white teachers who struggle with growth perhaps take a page from this creator’s amazing video shares:

And I have no notes for this creator.

But I do have a few for some of my white colleagues: you are going to feel defensive, and your defensiveness is a poison to awareness, growth, or reflection. You said something really dumb and racist. I’ve said dumb things. I’ve misgendered a student, and then quickly apologized and corrected. I’ve learned about colonized language/colloquialisms that are harmful. If you get called out or called in, apologize, and do better. And be prepared that your apology does not guarantee you grace. I learned that the hard way on Twitter. I did harm, I apologized, and I was removed as a friend. And I am working on understanding that my inner ADHD/trauma and fear of being mischaracterized don’t take priority over someone else’s truth.

Anyway, here is a video I have shown at the beginning of every school year: