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Showing posts from August, 2015

We're Afraid of Youth

The world we live in isn't that kind to youth. If we really think about it, we have a society that is afraid of youth and so we feel the need to control and police their lives and spaces in many ways.

For example, we don't let youth gather in large groups without calling it loitering. We have limited spaces that youth can congregate without being hassled by an adult or authorities. In Edmonton, youth from lower socio-economic backgrounds as well as Indigenous youth often have to deal with increased contact with law enforcement and other authorities. Our cities become less and less welcoming to our youth when we police their spaces to keep them from gathering with each other.

We have to ask ourselves why is it this way. Why has a culture of fear developed when we interact with youth. What is it about them that we don't trust? Do we just feel that youth cannot be trusted and are more likely to engage in behaviours and activities that we find inappropriate or socially unaccep…

The Inner City Has Changed Me

I am not the same person I was four years ago before working with youth in Edmonton's inner city. I'm happy to say that I've been changed for the better. When I walked through the doors of my classroom four years ago I was both excited and nervous. Most of the youth at my school are Indigenous and I was hoping they'd be cool with a hyper and nerdy teacher who liked to sit in circles and talk about social issues. I felt I had a lot of proving to do when I first started and I must of done something right as within a few weeks I had a number of students tell me they talked to the principal to let him know that I was "cool" and that he should keep me around.

It is little instances such as this that keep me motivated to become the best teacher I can be. But more so, it is instances like this that keep my heart and solidarity with the students that I teach. Over the last four years I have been inspired at the daily resistance and motivation of students to succeed d…