The Learning of all Lives Matters

Ferguson-FP-share-thumb-580x580-8130I know I’m stating the obvious to most in the title but I wanted to pick one that grabbed peoples’ attention and caused them to read these few thoughts on the matter. This issue has the potential to heal or harm so much racial tension that has been building since the Rodney King’s trial. As teachers, we need to be on the front lines of universal acceptance. The culture of our black students is more important now than ever before. White teachers, including myself, need to spend the time reading articles, watching movies, paying attention to sound bytes to try and gain a better understanding of black culture. If we don’t, we will not be able to foster literacy in the black citizens of tomorrow. Hispanic, Caucasian, Asian students and the array of all cultures in our schools are important. We need to agree that all lives matter and the learning of all lives matters.

Say what you want, you have prejudices. This was the opening statement at a cultural sensitivity training I recently attended. I didn’t accept it at first but as I have been reading about the Ferguson and other shootings as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, I have grown a large heart for the black students in my class. To them, I may not speak their cultural vocabulary. Their future is riding on them becoming literate. My job is to foster that through every avenue and strategy at my disposal. In my opinion, whites especially have a one time opportunity in 2015. We should be reaching out to blacks, learning about black culture, and most of all considering the point of view that is before us now in the Black Lives Matter movement. As teachers we need to be considering other cultures more in our lesson plans and in our interaction with students. We prepare the future of this world. We can take steps to erase bigotry and hatred. After all the hoopla about what teachers are or aren’t , we can rest assured there is still more potential in schools than any other buildings in the world.

Author: Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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