Monday, October 27, 2014

Good things do happen in education and please be aware of your personal issues

Coincidentally, I had been thinking about two subjects this morning when I found these two articles I am going to share. I have been thinking about all the good things that happen in education because of the recent field day the media has been having with a teacher who had sex with a student: news flash most teachers do not do that so do not condemn the whole profession.

“Why Do We Ignore All That Is Good in Education?”

“If there is one teacher in a system that has an affair with his/her student, it gets reported on.”

“When 1 in some random huge amount perpetrates a scandal, it gets recognized and publicized.”

“If one didn't know better, one would say that the media and government want the world to think ill of teachers, or why else would there be such a focus on the few who do bad things.”

“Let's face it, if journalists go on an expedition to find the unsavory aspects of teaching, they'll find it. It's always there, just like in every profession or aspect of life.”

“The usual scope of a teaching job goes well outside the job description of conveying content knowledge to students during school hours. Regardless of the misconception that teachers only teach from 8-3 and have the summers off, most of us spend the better portion of our lives treating every child in our spaces as if he or she was our own.”

Let us celebrate the good in education not the very minority bad.
This next article has more to do with personal experiences and observations over my career that I have only just begun to notice. I am pretty well insulated against dumb comments because I am fortunate to have a strong family background and long historical grounding. However, other people I know have started pointing out to me some of these “microagressions” that have always happened and I just brushed off.

'Dear White Academics ...'

“Wow, you’re so articulate.”

“Are you the cleaning lady?”

“Do you have a Ph.D.?”

“James? What’s your real Asian name?”

“You’ve heard (or heard of) statements like these. Students and scholars call them “microaggressions”—casual, everyday comments and questions that might not rise to the level of a verbal altercation or a physical beatdown, but are rooted in stereotyping and racially-biased assumptions nevertheless.”

“Some microaggressions are obvious. But it can take a well-tuned ear to perceive the subtleties and nuances in others. The people delivering coded comments might actually intend them as compliments, not realizing that they are holding on to stereotypes that are invisible to them.”

“Added over time, these slights and jabs—at scholars of color’s appearance, intelligence, scholarly work, and their mere presence on campus—can take an emotional and physical toll. Some underrepresented scholars have told me they’re exhausted from being battle-rammed in interactions with hiring committees, with students in the classroom, and in department meetings with fellow faculty members.”

This kind of speaks for itself, so I would ask that if you are one of those folks who does this, just stop doing it. We should all have better things to do in education than this.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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