As teacher leaders, we need to realize that we come with our own bias baggage. It is important that we own our bias and our privilege. As a white woman from a college educated family, I admit that I have white privilege. I'll also admit that I wasn't always aware of my bias. I clearly remember being shocked at a summer camp when a counselor suggested that I shouldn't become friendly with another camper due to his race. After the horrific events of this summer, I decided to compile a list of resources for my school's professional development Google folder and begin a blog series on the topic of bias in the school setting.
I had a lovely conversation with one of our graduates, Jeremy Taylor, @2014Jeremy, who currently attends Pomona College. Jeremy and his fellow students worked with the Pomona College administration to address diversity and bias at Pomona. Our conversation went fairly deep into the various types of diversity issues faced on college campuses. One idea that I emphasized with Jeremy was the power of student voice. Students must learn to enter into the dialogue. We must not stand behind our facts or our own diversity and refuse to speak. Read Jeremy's blog on the importance of personal experience to balance our textual evidence. As teachers, we can help and should our students extend the dialogue regarding bias.
We all come to the classroom with bias. Balance is needed. We do need to spot, talk, and open our minds in order to prevent bias.
District Director of Professional development, AP English teacher, ELA Coach and cradle United Methodist.
Thank you to the Teacher Practice Network, Arkansas Public School Resource Center, A Project of the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd, with funding by the Gates Foundation. #TPNlead