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Lesson 1, Topic 62
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Intro Episode Copy

Intro Episode

Sharif El-Mekki

Center for Black Educator Development | CEO

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Too often, educators come into a school, come into a classroom and all they’re thinking about is,

  • “These students are poor.”
  • “These students are behind.”
  • “These students are coming from violent communities.”
  • “These students, these students, these students.”

They start only thinking from a deficit mindset. That impacts how they engage with their youth. Instead of holding high expectations, they start having pity parties. Instead of teaching with fervor and holding students to high levels of accountability, they start making excuses for their students. That is detrimental to learning. That is detrimental to the teaching profession.

We need people that have asset thinking that think like, “You know what, these students are amazing. I’m not here to teach you grit, I’m here to connect with the grit that you have and connect your grit to the academic grit.” That’s having asset beliefs because…

  • You believe in the child.
  • You believe in the potential of the child.
  • You believe in the destiny of that child.

That’s the difference between asset based thinking and deficit based thinking.

Key Takeaways

  • Take an asset approach to the classroom
  • View all students as geniuses
  • Default to believing