Teaching is not an easy task to master. I think that many people outside of teaching believe that teaching is easy and that anyone can do it. This may be true, but not just anyone can teach well. There are many things going through a teacher’s mind while they are teaching. Did I make my slide correctly? Are my student’s understanding what I am trying to teach them? Did I mention what homework is due? Is there learning happening in my class room?
Before class last week and before this week’s readings, I am not sure that inclusion was at the forefront of my thoughts. However, after our class discussion and the readings, I feel that a ‘seed’ has been planted in my head. Possibly, that is all I need, a seed that can grow and blossom. I would like to think that I, as a teacher, have been throughout my career, inclusive to all students. I am sure that there are students that would agree with me and probably some that would not agree. We all have certain biases ingrained in ourselves that have been grown there through our experiences. These readings have allowed me to acknowledge the fact that these biases exist and that there are things I can do, as a teacher, to not let them affect my teaching.
I want learning to be the number one priority of my students when they are sitting in my class. I realize, through the readings, that in order for that to be the case, I need to foster a safe environment for all of my students, not just some. This is easier said than done. Like I said before we have all been brought up and raised with certain biases and these biases produce ways of doing things that may not always be inclusive. This week’s readings have made me think a lot about micro-aggressions I may be exhibiting while teaching and about some of the examples I may be sharing while teaching. And I think that ‘seed’ that I referenced earlier can blossom into more clear thought as to how to include all students and create a space of safe learning for anyone who takes my class.
Like I said, although it may be easy to be a teacher, it is definitely not easy to be a good teacher. But classes like this one that give you a glimpse of other things to think about can only help in growing my acknowledgement and knowledge of ways to create safe environments for learning, which should be the goal of any teacher.