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Lesson 1, Topic 62
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Intro Episode Copy

…it put me in this very weird place where I had to almost put myself aside to help someone else deal with their issues.


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There was a moment. I actually hate sharing this because this colleague is someone I admire and I work very closely with around social justice, but I remember when I was teaching at a high school, she invited me into her classroom and she asked if I could sit in the back to observe a lesson.

So I’m thinking that she’s asking and looking for my critical experience and I’m looking for academic rigor and how it shows up in her class. And at the end of the lesson she comes up to me and asks,

“How did I do?” 

And so, I’m naming…”This was great.” or “This activity was very engaging with kids.” 

And she was like, “No, you know what I mean.”

I’m like, “What are you talking about?” 

She was really eluding to behavior and classroom management and there was this assumption that, because I’m a Black male that I can manage a classroom well or I’m an expert at classroom management. It took me back to so many moments in the past in the classroom where Black men are not seen as educators. We’re just seen as management tools, behavior specialists. So I felt devalued, but I knew that at the end of the day…I’m about to make excuses for her. But I knew that at the end of the day harm wasn’t intended and I knew that she meant well, and she was just looking for support but it put me in this very weird place where I had to almost put myself aside to help someone else deal with their issues. And when it comes to race, that’s always challenging for me to do.

Dessus

Key Takeaways

  • Black Educators are more than managers
  • Double check intentions
  • Interrogate your own issues