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Vic Mensa: SHELTER

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Lesson 3, Topic 62
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Conclusion Episode

As educators, we have to recognize those moments where our own biases are entering the classroom.

So, here’s the thing, and this  troubles me sometimes with microaggressions. It’s really hard to call out and name as a person of color because sometimes, and often they’re done in a way that is hidden compliments. And when you speak out against them, you’re now the angry Black man or the angry Black woman. And so, when we talk about microaggressions and facing them and dealing with them, the honus has to be on all of us. 

We all have to do the work. 

When we try to cover it up, when we’re not honing up to it, you’re putting pressure on your colleagues of color to do the work and in extreme cases, you’re putting pressure on students to do the work. That’s incredibly, incredibly harmful in any school community. It’s on me to support you in doing the work but I can’t do it for you. I can’t recognize it for you, I can’t address it for you. That’s the internal work that you have to do. That’s necessary.

As educators, we have to recognize those moments where our own biases are entering the classroom. 

And it’s not just a race thing…

It’s a gender thing.

It’s sexual orientation. 

It’s socioeconomic status. 

So, it’s all of us. We all have to do the work. When those moments do happen, if I’m back in the classroom and I’m observing that lesson, and we’re debriefing. And I’m at that moment where I’m realizing that I”m not really here to talk about academics. I’m here to talk about behavior management and classroom management, I hope that we can speak honestly, guards down, no offense taken, about the fact that a Black man is called into your classroom to do the work for you.

Key Takeaways