Here we are again…
White male educators are called in to a conversation regarding the lack of representation at education conferences only to “respond” by deleting said tweet and pretending that the conversation hasn’t happened. It’s like clockwork.
As a white male educator myself, I was once susceptible to falling into the trap of white fragility. My journey is far from done either. I’m still learning. I’m still growing. In the past, I too became instantly offended by the mere suggestion that I was failing to consider the voices of educators of color and female educators.
I pushed back.
I argued that I was not, in any way, racist.
And then I took a step back…
I realized something.
The folx who brought such issues to my attention were not calling me a racist. They were simply calling attention to a lack of representation and that I would best serve my profession (and most importantly, my students) by increasing diversity and LISTENING to and LEARNING from the voices of educators who are typically silenced.
It’s really that simple.
No one engaging white male educators regarding issues such as systemic racism and sexism in schools is arguing that you have no right to have a successful career and make a living working in education.
No one is telling you that you can never appear and present at an education conference.
No one is saying you can not be a part of the solution to issues plaguing our school systems.
Folx are just asking that we stop believing that we, ARE the solution.
It’s time that we, white male educators, stop being so damn fragile.
Stop running away from difficult conversations.
Stop spending so much time running circles in your mind trying to defend yourself thinking you’re being labeled as a racist. You are not. (Unless, of course, you’re being a racist).
Let’s be honest. Conversations about education have long been dominated by white males. It is a fact. Also a fact? Schools across the country continue to struggle bringing about an equitable setting that promotes that academic and social growth of ALL students.
How can it be considered offensive that a panel consisting of all white males and discussing the issue of school culture and equity is being called into question?
Thanks to some amazing educators in #EduTwitter (I’m hesitant to specifically acknowledge by name as I don’t want to assume they wish to be named but I’d hope they know who they are), I’ve grown in ways I could have never expected over the past year. Now? I’m doing more good for my students than ever before.
Does that mean I was a bad teacher in the past? Of course not. But I’m most certainly better now. I’ll be forever grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and will help pave my future in the field of education.
You will too.
You just have to be willing to jump in to the conversation, listen, and learn.
Your participation in this discussion and movement? This is what the kids truly deserve.