So people are marching for justice. Our children are watching our response. How many children get to see someone of the same ethnicity teach them? My black children gravitate towards me, because I was the only one they could identify with in my school. They rebelled against other teacher’s of other races. So how can we help our youth in education find equality?

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Teach them the history of our country.
Teach them the legislative process ( in depth).
Teach them the process of appealing to their representatives.
Teach them how to identify their reps
Make sure they understand the “why” and to have a concrete “ ask”.

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I am a white teacher who teaches in a predominantly Hispanic and black community. I have an amazing relationship with my students! Even when they move on, my students still come spend time in my classroom before and after school to work on homework, get help with academics, or just have a safe space to hang with their friends. This is because I have built relationships with my students. They know I respect them as people and want them to achieve greatness! I’m heartbroken by what has happened and the impact it will have on my students. I believe to overcome and trample the evil of racism we need to teach our students to think, not what to think! We need to teach then the meaning of love and respect for all cultures, for all people. We all look at life and those around us with the lenses we were taught, raised with, and experienced. Unless we start breaking those lenses and respecting others, no matter our differences, we can’t break this vicious cycle.

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These are wonderful sentiments. But the fact is we cannot move forward without dismantling the systems that have created an environment of injustice. Having one good white teacher may help students realize that “all white people aren’t racist.” But it won’t change white supremacy and racism in America. We have to do the long, hard, messy work of fixing this.

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Our teachers used to be part of the community...same church...same grocery store...same park...etc...1st step in being an effective educator is building relationships...some people don't want to know us...they cannot be the ones to teach/lead us

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Are you of the opinion that systematic racism doesn’t exist? Just asking. Because your “pull yourself up from your bootstraps” mentality makes very little sense it you don’t have boots.
If that is so, then I guess you can’t really answer my questions.
But I’d like to recommend White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. It’s a great place to start if you’re open to learning about systematic racism. Also Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi. In addition James Baldwin and Martin Luther Kings speeches are extremely helpful.
Good luck to you.

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The more protestors and looters they see the worse the rebellion to teachers of other races will be. Parents need to be careful how they talk in front of them too. As a white teacher in a predominately black school February changed the dynamics in my classroom considerably. I become the outsider.

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I understand. Many children are looking to find a teacher as well as their peers among their ethic group. When 80% of the teachers are white something is wrong with the public school system. Parents and students have different ethic views and can’t or won’t share them in a guarded environment or state of mind.

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I never said it would change the system. I was responding to the original post. The first step in helping my students find equity in education is forming relationships with them that are healthy and supportive. There are so many things that need to be changed in the system. I can have an impact in my direct area of influence. But it takes more than 1 person. We need to stand as a nation against racism! It cannot be tolerated any longer!

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I get what you’re saying. But I’m going to push back a little. I thought the question was how do we empower our students to get equality? So in reading your post I didn’t really see that response. Are we prepared to educate our students about the systems that support oppression? Are we prepared to give them the tools to dismantle it.? Are we prepared to become allies in the fight?
I appreciate that you have good relationships with your kids but have you prepared them to fight for social justice and if so I’d love to know how? I’m working on my units for next year right now and any suggestions are welcome.

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I’m sorry but, that still doesn’t answer my question. What are ways you empower students to change their society in a way that they gain equity and equality?
Teachers are amazing at being supportive and exposing our kids to role models, but that doesn’t change society. That hasn’t changed society. What are we doing in schools to help change our society in favor of justice?
Look, I know what I’m asking. Every time injustice is thrown in our faces, I’m at a loss for what to do or how to address without feeling like some admin or parent telling me it’s not my place. This year I took a risk and taught my kids about the inequities of our educational system. I also taught them how to navigate the system for their own benefit. For example, I told them about how admin doesn’t listen to kids but they will listen to an angry parent, especially one who shows up to the school. I told them about resources reserved for the “smart/good” kids. What was sad is kids asked me why things were set up this way. I didn’t know if I could tell them it was systematic racism and white supremacy, capitalism and exploitation of the system. I had a lesson on The Declaration of Independence to teach after all.
So my question is really how do we do this? How do you do this?

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I’m not saying that racism isn’t a problem. I’m saying that if we tell our students that they are screwed because the world is against them, how does that help? Everyone is not against them. They can be successful. Look at all of the success stories!
If I tell my homeless student that he is never going to be successful because the cards are stacked against him how does that help him? Life is hard for so many reasons. If we can see that others have been successful despite their hardship that offers hope and inspiration.

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Stand up and speak up for them.

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These are cute posters. Unfortunately, both Oprah and Michelle Obama had to endure considerable racial struggles to achieve their “success”. Do we want to say, “If you’re good and don’t shake the boat too much and just take the crap that this nation gives you, you too can be Oprah”? For the record I admire the work of both Michelle Obama and Oprah. However, I know they had to assimilate and play the game on their road to agency and influence. I don’t want that for our students. I want them to be more like a Jack Johnson or an Ida B. Wells.
And why these particular examples? These two ladies tick all the boxes that make them sic-white. But you probably may not have noticed that. You probably didn’t notice that you were telling your kids “if you just assimilate, you will be successful.”
See, when you do this work, it tears down all of these ideas we have of what’s right and what’s wrong. It allows our children to embrace all of who they are.
And yet again, you have not answered my question. Please don’t hide your head in the sand. I know this is hard. But these are our kids. Aren’t they worth us questioning our beliefs? Aren’t they worth us at least trying to dismantle this thing that provides a big ole stumbling block for them? Aren’t they worth equipping?
No one gets a pass for being “good”. Teaching about love and respect is “good”. But we must be intentional. We can’t do that if we are not willing to do the work.

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It comes from what is said at home.

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Teach them about effort and that they can succeed! Tell them about the successful role models in their community and in the world, in history and now.

My point is that many Americans have refused to assume a victim role and have worked hard to achieve what they have achieved. By doing this they have influence on their society.

I see your point. But I guess I want my students to be inspired to change the injustice that they themselves are tasked with overcoming. I want them to be the change and part of being the change is understanding what needs to be changed and acting intentionally to address it.
I want to be clear. I agree that telling our children that the system is screwed is not helpful. They notice that on their own. But I do not want to normalize or okay inequity or turn it into an everyday struggle that everyone has to face. That’s not true. I want them to know some of this stuff isn’t right and they need to be prepared to combat it for themselves and their children. It’s tough enough facing racism without having to see your children and grandchildren face it too. I don’t want my kids to have to do that.
Success stories are lovely. But they often gloss over the millions of unsuccessful stories that begin and end with injustice.
Our students shouldn’t have to live in a nation that says one thing but does another. They shouldn’t have to navigate systems full of inequities. How do we show them how to change that for themselves and their children?
That’s my question.
I engage with students where they are and allow them a safe space to speak their truth to power. I give them the tools and tips they need to navigate the systems. But what more can I do? That’s always my question.
I feel like this moment has given us more to think about as far as creating learning experiences that allow students to examine our systems critically and decide what change means to them.
They are so amazing. Just listening to them gives me hope. But I want to make sure I give them tools and an understanding of the systems that are in place that oppress and destroy so much promise.

I think it’s very important that we don’t teach them learned helplessness but instead teach them to proactively face each new challenge.

But these challenges of systematic racism aren’t new. How do we as teachers help students address and combat it in real life?
I feel like you don’t really have an answer to that very specific question. Have you done this kind of work? Have you addressed systematic racism? And if not, why not? What are the challenges? Maybe that’s somewhere you can start.

Thoughts on this?

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Or this?

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Last-

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And what about us changing our attitude? What about us changing the system that manifests and attitude of racism and bias?

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