I’m from the South. Birmingham, Alabama to be exact. If you have ever spoken to me, you know because it’s obvious. In the south, from the moment you step foot in a school you learn about the struggles of the civil rights movement. Even first year teachers have to go though Lee vs Macon training that focuses on racism and equality. Southern history is embarrassing but the purpose of learning history is learning to avoid mistakes of those in the past. And I think we are getting there. Watching protest going on around the country has made me thankful I live in a place where my kids are surrounded by people of all races and I’m so happy that they seriously do not see color when they look at their friends.
One of the main fights during the civil rights movement was desegregation of schools. Today it is insane to think that just 50 years ago your skin color determined your education. I could never imagine treating a student in my classroom any different because of their race. I am so thankful for those who fought and even gave their lives so my children can go to school and have friends of all races.
Today I saw this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
I started thinking about what MLK and others went through so their children, children of the our lifetime, and the future could have the education they deserve. BUT are we giving them the education that was fought so hard for? Would MLK look at education today and be proud? Would he determine it was worth dying for or would he be disappointed?
King nailed it here, education is to teach to think critically and intensively. Are we teaching this? How many times a day do you encourage this kind of thinking in your classroom? You can’t teach this with worksheets or test prep.
Just imagine if King had never thought critically. He would have accepted life as it was because that’s what he was told to think. His life and unfortunately lives of so many would have been and still would be different. You cannot change history by using our brains for just regurgitating facts and accepting things the way they are. As teachers you have the power to influence the thinkers and leaders of our future. Don’t take that for granted. One person can push for change, that one person may be in your classroom needing just a small push, don’t let that opportunity slip away.
Have a great week y’all!