Engage Your Biases
I recently participated in an eye-opening Twitter chat: #CSISDChat. The discussion highlighted tough conversations that revolve around poverty. The guiding thought for the chat was: is poverty a result of poor education or is poor education a result of poverty. The questions presented in the chat caused me to critically engage how I support and foster a learner-centered, poverty-minded response to these at-risk learners – particularly in my administrative role. Working in a property-wealthy school district, it’s easy to focus my professional learning and development on how to support the other end of the spectrum. The biggest takeaway from the experience chatting with #CSISDChat, outside of my professional and personal development, were the biases that I do not engage.
We all have them – biases – allowing prior experiences to shape current perspectives. A few example in education:
- The loud, extroverted teacher that does not consider the introverted, soft-spoken learner (I was that teacher!) 😦
- Doing lessons (as educators) and staff developments (as administrators) like the “old days”
- Maintaining an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality
Our biases in education prevent us from reaching every child. The guiding thought of poverty affects a very small percentage of the learners in my school district. However, how much more of an impact I could have when equipped with the right tools/thoughts for the small number of affected students – which in all honesty isn’t so small… A few years ago, I wrote a blog about Diversity in the Education Profession reflecting on my experience as a HS student – feeling like the learner who was affected by education’s biases. I felt like the “forgotten 2%”.
In order to engage and confront my biases in education, I must be more intentional in thoughts and issues that may have been a lower priority. I must engage my biases – all of them – to further strengthen my ability to serve all kiddos. I am eager to share these thoughts with my administrative team to partner with them for our administrative growth.