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Black students need

Being the Teacher That Our

Chapter One Takeaways

The first chapter brings up the idea that, despite the long fight to desegregate schools in the mid 1900s, there are many proponents of the creation of schools specificly for black boys. The needs of black students are not being met, not because the schools are incapable of providing quality education, but because the segregation that exists inside of the school works in favor of its white students. Instead of proposing schools to meet the specific needs of black students, I propose we start teaching our teachers to do this in every school

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Choose to acknowledge the white privelege in education Demand education and resources Reflect and evaluate what biases you may hold and act on

Choose to be "blind" to the differences of your students See your non- white students as "disadvantaged" Let your classroom or cirriculum be reflective of only you/the majority

“Even some of the more popular educational innovations, such as Cooperative learning and whole language approaches to literacy, have been developed and refined to improve achievement amongst 'disadvantaged students' (Ladson-Billings)." People have become so uncomfortable with talking about race that they will avoid it using any vocabulary besides "black". Unfortunately, this has manifested in a way that groups black students together as poor, deprived, & less fortunate.

“Where white children are, there’s educational excellence (Landson-Billings)” “School desegregation plans are deemed successful when white parents are satisfied despite low academic performance and high suspension and drop out rates for African Americans (Landson-Billings)” Diversifying schools often brings in substantial funding, which results in reaching "magnet status" (a program in a public school that usually focuses on a special area of study, such as science, the performing arts, or career education.) This also often leads to schools with a two tiered system that end up representing white v black students. When this happens, the school stays segregated on the inside, with black students making up the lower level classes. With this new found funding, the school offers incentives to those who choose that school district. Often, this looks like free extra curricular activities such as amusment park field trips, camping trips, skiing trips, etc. Even though the "integration" of black students is what supplies the money for these extravagant experiences, this community often finds themselves without the resources to participate in these activities.

"Given the long history of poor academic performance of African American students one might ask why no literature exists to address their needs? (Ladson-Billings)" Before writing this book, the author did a cross search of "teacher education" and "black education" which only yielded 9 results based in research, but not one dealt with the preparing teachers for the needs of black students. Our black students are facing a pattern of disproportional drop out rates and a lack of academic success, yet no one is writing about what we can do as teachers. We owe it to our students and our community to keep advocating for black students by demanding that we be educated on how to meet their needs without re-segregating our schools.

This website provides a list of the different types of ways that racism manifests and examples to make it more concrete. It's easy to tell ourselves things like, "I'm not racist. I have black friends and I never say the N word" but the fact of the matter is, nobody is free of racial bias. This idea makes many people uncomfortable, but the sooner we allow ourselves to admit to our racist biases, the sooner we can put in the work to strive to be antiracist teachers and members of society.

We have learned a lot about diversifying our classroom libraries to reflect our class, the community, and a large variety of cultures- this has been mentioned in nearly every class. This is so important, but just as important is the integration of this concept in our curriculum as well. It's important for students to be able to find mirrors in their books, but they also needs to be hearing themselves in lessons and conversations. Students need to be exposed to other ideas, groups, and perspectives, and as teachers it is our responsibility to integrate other cultures into our curriculum.