How Teachers Can Shape the Future
As teachers, we have the opportunity to shape the world's future. That may sound a little far fetched, but it is entirely true.
Each and every child that walks into your classroom will learn from you, and they will learn more than just content. They learn from your actions, your attitude, and the way you hold yourself. They always say you are a role model for your students, and they are not wrong. Children pick up EVERYTHING. They are more aware than we give them credit for, and you would be surprised how well they can understand what we consider difficult topics
As teachers, we have so much power. We have power to empower. This is the entire reason I created my brand name to be "Teaching to Empower." Our words, our teachings, and our modeling can either motivate and inspire, or it can belittle and degrade. What you choose to give your students is entirely up to you. Now, more than ever, we can use our abilities to teach our students about the world around them and empower them to make a change. In fact, it is our duty, as educators, to educate our students about the injustices of the world... but even more so, to teach our students how to respond to these injustices.
As teachers, we have the power to empower.
Although the thought of even scratching the surface of such topics, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, may seem terrifying and intimidating, it's incredibly important that we do talk about these topics!
There are so many learning experiences that can take place just by starting a discussion about what is happening in the world RIGHT NOW. We can discuss what protests and riots are, why they happen, what the results are, and the differences between the two. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "A riot is the language of the unheard." We need to challenge our students. We need to get them thinking about how they can make a change... right now, and in the future.
We need to challenge our students. We need to get them thinking about how they can make a change... right now, and in the future.
The best part about talking about all of this with our students, is that our students come up with the BEST solutions! Seriously, sit down with your students and let them just talk about all of the different ways we could help solve the racial injustices in the world. Make a list with them! And then after??? Implement the list. If the list says to educate others, ask your students what are some ideas they could do right now to do that. Maybe it's making a class video and putting it on YouTube (with parent consent of course!), maybe it's fundraising for specific books for the school or community, maybe it's creating an event within the community. There are so many options, and you would be amazed by the ideas that your students could come up with! Letting your students guide this initiative will not only empower your students, but it could bring about REAL change! It all has to start somewhere, and what better place than with our youth??
It all has to start somewhere, and what better place than with our youth??
I got into teaching because I fully believe that our children are our future, and it's up to me (and you) to make sure our children create an amazing future that we, and they, would be proud of. But it starts with us teachers. We have to talk about the challenging topics. We have to guide students to challenge their beliefs as well as the beliefs of those around them. We are creating leaders, so we need to be leaders ourselves.