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Showing posts from September, 2014

Teaching with Privilege

Think back to when you took your education program and you were asked time and again to write "reflection papers" for your courses. I remember looking around the room and seeing the avalanche of eye rolls work themselves around the room much like "the wave" at a sporting event.

Even though this task required us to reflect upon our roles as educators and how our experiences shape how we view education and learning, there were never many of us who enjoyed this practice. However, even though I didn't always love writing these papers, they were an essential task that forced us to evaluate our practice and behaviour as an educator and learner.

In both my personal and professional life, I have made a point to be constantly reflecting on how my role in society has impacted the way I teach and conduct myself as a person. There is no doubt that my white male privilege has benefited me economically, socially and politically. To get a deeper understanding on this issue I …

Teaching For Change

Why are you a teacher?

What is the point of doing the job you do? 
Teachers really need to think about those questions and hopefully reflect beyond the surface answers of wanting to "inspire" students. I doubt any of us really got into teaching to "fill gaps in the labour market" or decided that their true passion in life was watching students fill out multiple choice tests. 
For most of us, I would say that at some level we decided to be a teacher to affect change in the lives of students and the communities in which we serve. We felt a connection to a profession in which we could work with children and youth to promote qualities that may have been lacking in the world as we saw it. 
However, for any of us that have been teaching for any length of time have probably seen how the inequalities of our world have impacted our students and their ability to learn. Poverty, racism, sexism, ableism, colonialism and homophobia, amongst many more forms of oppression, infilt…