Teachers Still Need to Be Taught

William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, 1960. After a Federal court ordered the desegregation of schools in the South, U.S. Marshals escorted a young Black girl, Ruby Bridges, to and from school amidst protesters.

When it comes to the school system, there are many white teachers who stray away from talking about race in the classroom. The dynamics of the classroom matter so much more than people may originally anticipate. Students need to feel comfortable when it comes to someone who is instructing them. Not only are teachers someone that students see often, but they are available to talk to about other topics if needed. When it comes to race in the classroom, teachers need to be comfortable talking about race in order for those dynamics to be productive instead of hostile.

When it comes to classroom dynamics, a lot of children in the school system are students of color while a lot of teachers are white. Another layer to this is that white people do not often like to talk about racism as a whole because it makes them feel uncomfortable along with adding to the fear that talking about it within itself, makes them appear to be racist. Because of that, a lot of teachers may have their own implicit biases against their students which means that they might treat them unfairly compared to white students. Because of this, they need to learn more about their implicit biases that way they can control and reduce them so they can promote a healthy learning environment for all of their students. Having equity in the classroom is very important when it comes to children’s education because they may feel undermined by their teacher. Students feeling as if their potential is not as strong as a white student can be very disheartening when it comes to their ability as a student. They may feel inferior which would lead to a big dynamic issue of the students within the classroom.

Making sure that teachers are trained properly to handle their biases along with having an equal learning environment for all of their students would be beneficial to education as a whole. Schools should also focus on hiring teachers of color and not just white teachers because they can help the dynamic immensely. It’s important to remember how large of an impact the school system can have on impressionable children.

1 thought on “Teachers Still Need to Be Taught”

  1. The teacher/student power dynamic is an issue that many students face but it is even more prevalent for students of color. Teachers who use the colorblind ideology continue to make students feel as if their race doesn’t matter which is extremely damaging to young students of color. Teachers also teach white students how to deal with race, which perpetuates the damaging cycle of color blindness.

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